Experts predict that the global market for liquid cooling in the data centre industry will grow from US$ 1.2 billion (2019) to US$ 3.2 billion by 2024 (1). This will be driven primarily by the growing demand for energy-efficient, compact cooling solutions and lower operating costs plus enhanced performance – from edge to high-performance computing. Conventional rack and room cooling solutions are fast approaching their limitations here. The new direct chip cooling solutions from Rittal and ZutaCore offer a possible solution. With an unprecedented cooling output of up to 900 W and more per server, these partners are supporting the transformation of the data centre industry. On 12 May, the partners unveiled their solutions to the general public in an online live demo and a virtual trade fair at the OCP Virtual Summit.
Rittal, one of the world’s leading system providers for industrial and IT infrastructure solutions, and ZutaCore, experts in processor and liquid cooling, deliver innovative solutions for high-performance cooling and other computing-intensive scenarios under the brand name “Rittal HPC Cooled-by-ZutaCore.”
Scalable: Cooling for 900 W and more
Drivers such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning place escalating requirements on processor performance, density in the data centre and cooling per rack. Now, the partnership between Rittal and ZutaCore has created a portfolio of solutions using pioneering direct chip cooling. The new system operates on the principle of evaporation cooling and uses latent energy to evaporate refrigerant (“direct contact evaporative cooling”).
Users can eliminate local overheating in processors, because the system targets the areas where hotspots occur. This reduces the risk of IT failures. Moreover, the scalability of the system allows customers to keep pace with dynamic market requirements. Cooling outputs of up to 900 W per server and more are supported. In this way, Rittal is strengthening its IT cooling expertise and broadening its comprehensive range of efficient high-performance cooling systems for demanding applications with high packaging densities.
Super-efficient: Cooling solutions from edge to HPC
To kick off, the companies are marketing two solutions: Firstly, a space-saving, compact rear door cooling solution. This comprises an air/refrigerant heat exchanger, designed as the rear door of the server enclosure, from the Rittal LCP system portfolio and HyperCool technology for direct chip cooling from ZutaCore.
The underlying principle is that the liquid refrigerant flows into specially developed “enhanced nucleation evaporators” in the server processors (CPU, GPU). As it absorbs the heat from the processors, the refrigerant evaporates and is converted into gas. The Novec refrigerant is then converted back from a gas into a liquid in the heat exchanger. The temperature of the airflow is sufficient for this purpose. A pump delivers liquid refrigerant back into the cooling system. As almost all cooling solution components are integrated into the rear door, this saves a significant amount of space. The plug & play solution is easily installed in data centres without having to modify the existing infrastructure.
The second solution from Rittal and ZutaCore is an in-rack solution available as an air- and water-cooled variant. The air-cooled solution supports up to 20 kW heat dissipation per rack with the aid of an in-rack air-cooled condenser. It can be installed in any rack in virtually any environment, and has been designed in response to the sharp growth in demand for cooling powerful processors on the “edge”. With a water-cooled condenser, the water-cooled in-rack version supports energy-efficient cooling of up to 70 kW heat dissipation per rack. It is designed primarily for rapidly expanding processor and server outputs.
“Semi-conductor trends, the data centre industry and sustainability targets will make the mass distribution of direct liquid cooling solutions in data centres essential in the 2020s,” explains Daniel Bizo, Principal Analyst at 451 Research. “Air cooling alone will not be enough to meet future requirements if huge numbers of server processors are capable of generating more heat than entire servers just a few years ago. Other factors include rising cost pressure and high expectations with regard to environmental sustainability, such as minimal energy consumption. The data centre industry will need to keep pace with these requirements,” said Bizo.
“Our partnership with Rittal has enabled us to launch our direct chip cooling solutions on the global market. We can meet the demand for efficient high-performance cooling technology and scale it accordingly to make our technology available to the biggest industries and most discerning data centre operators,” says Udi Paret, President of ZutaCore. “Whether hyerscaler, colocation provider or enterprise environment, the Rittal HPC Cooled-by-Zutacore solutions combine the unique benefits of modular system solutions from Rittal with innovative liquid cooling from ZutaCore to achieve unprecedented levels of heat dissipation,” says Paret.