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Skived Coldplates Technical Brief

Cooling options that can work within the limits of existing facility layouts and deliver the promise of energy efficiency, high-performance and long-term use.

3 Min Read
Skived Coldplates Technical Brief

The data center cooling industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace with direct liquid cooling becoming widely accepted for both HPC and Enterprise installations. Data center professionals are looking for cooling options that can work within the limits of existing facility layouts and deliver the promise of energy efficiency, high-performance and long-term use.

The Best in the Industry

Skiving manufacturing technology is a unique metal forming process widely used in copper and aluminum heat sink construction, and most recently adopted for high-performance liquid cooling coldplate construction.

By using a special planer with precise control, thin slices of material are cut and then bent upward to become heat dissipation fins for the coldplate. This manufacturing process results in superior heat dissipation as compared to non-skived coldplates.

Unrivaled Performance to Density RatioIMG_3508.jpg


Skived coldplates deliver the best performance in the industry. The manufacturing process allows the base and fins to be formed from the same piece of material, yielding high thermal transfer properties.

Skived coldplates such as the example shown can reach a thermal resistance of 0.03°C/W or lower for high-density processors such as Intel Ice Lake. Additionally, manufacturers have opportunities to further improve the thermal performance of this coldplate depending on the application requirements.

RQ Curve.PNG

RQ Curve_0

High performance skived coldplates are designed to have an extremely low profile to allow them to fit in 1U applications, yet not compromise performance capabilities. This is an important feature for OEM server designers to ensure they can maintain, or even decrease, server height.

Reliability that Lasts

With such high fin density, skived coldplates require clean and filtered coolant to operate at their peak performance. To achieve this, high-performance coldplates utilize high-quality coolants such as Recochem OAT PG25% coolant, which is pre-filtered to 50 microns. To further control the coolant quality on the secondary loop, coldplate manufacturers can offer a full range of solutions including Rack Manifolds, Passive Coldplate Loops (PCL) and Coolant Distribution Units (CDU). Ensuring the entire secondary liquid loop is designed and produced by one solution provider allows for the highest quality assurance and long-term reliability, while continuing to provide high performance for HPC. CDU’s utilize intelligent monitoring and controls to constantly monitor changing coolant conditions and watch for unexpected flow and pressure changes. Planned Preventative Maintenance is simple and requires semi-annual coolant samples to be drawn and sent to the coldplate manufacturer for analysis.

Minimal Pressure DropIMG_9972_clean.jpg


Some companies go a step further with a  variety of patented manufacturing processes, including split-flow skived coldplates. These features can produce a very low-pressure drop per square inch while providing the high performance and reliability expected from DLC solutions.

This helps to maintain a low overall system pressure drop with various coldplate loop configurations. Ultimately, this provides higher coolant flow rates with comparable pumping systems to coldplates with a higher pressure drop.

Pressure Curve.PNG

Pressure Curve

Experienced Coldplate Partners Use Skived Coldplates

It is commonplace for new coldplate vendors to appear and disappear in a relatively small period, due to lack of experience in the industry and difficulty building trust with OEM server vendors to include their untested designs. This stems from the fact that the coldplate and passive coldplate loop which installs onto the server, now become part of the Server OEMs own solution and must deliver excellent performance while meeting the quality and reliability standards they expect to accompany their own cutting edge technology. The coldplate is one of the most critical components in the DLC loop and designing or building it incorrectly can have serious consequences to the entire liquid-cooled system.


High performance skived coldplates are the best option for DLC applications and allow for unrivaled thermal efficiency and performance. Choosing a proven coldplate vendor is a key decision in ensuring a liquid-cooled datacenter will perform at its best and deliver the maximum performance that liquid cooling is known for.

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