Intel focuses on immersion cooling to reduce data center energy consumption

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Intel is investing more than $700 million in a research facility that will focus on making data centers more efficient. Intel mainly wants to promote the use of immersion cooling for data centers.

Intel’s planned research lab covers more than 18,500 square feet. Intel wants to research and further develop data center techniques for immersion cooling, the efficient use of water and the collection and reuse of heat from the systems. In addition, Intel wants to test its current and future data center products, such as Xeon processors and Agilex FPGAs. The manufacturer is building the facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. Construction will start this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Intel’s reference design for immersion cooling

Intel mainly focuses on simplifying the use of immersion cooling in data centers. Companies immerse their systems in a non-conductive liquid to cool them. The advantage is that this method of cooling requires much less energy than, for example, air cooling, and servers can also be closer together.

Intel has a reference design developed for immersion cooling that manufacturers can use. This is a proof-of-concept that is being further developed by Intel Taiwan in collaboration with server manufacturers. At a later stage, Intel will expand the project outside of Taiwan. Intel speaks of an ‘open intellectual property’ for the reference design, so that manufacturers can further develop it themselves.