The Futility of Extending Chilled-Air Cooling

This post was originally published on Data Center Knowledge

A pair of recent announcements from two of the world’s biggest companies sent the clearest signal so far that the age of chilled-air systems is coming to an end.

According to a report in The Information, Amin Vahdat, Google’s general manager of machine learning, systems and cloud AI, told the Hot Chips conference that the company has had to make major changes to its data centers to accommodate its expanded capacity of AI chips, mainly by switching from air cooling to liquid cooling with noticeable improvements in performance and reliability.

And Jensen Huang, the CEO of NVIDIA, perhaps the poster child of the generative AI era, predicted $1 trillion will be spent over four years upgrading data centers for AI, including the increased need to keep those AI chips cool.

Chilled-air systems have been a loyal companion for most data-center operators for years, but the inefficiencies of those systems are becoming exposed as demands on electricity consumption and water usage continue to skyrocket. To continue down that path is using a blunt instrument on an increasingly complex problem, consigning companies to a life of increasing operational pain.

A look at the numbers reveals just how blunt chilled-air systems are. The

Read the rest of this post, which was originally published on Data Center Knowledge.

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