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An Overview of the Power 775 Supercomputer Water Cooling System

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael J. Ellsworth, Jr., Gary F. Goth, Randy J. Zoodsma, Amilcar Arvelo, Levi A. Campbell

IBM Corporation, Poughkeepsie, NY

William J. Anderl

IBM Corporation, Rochester, MN

Paper No. IPACK2011-52130, pp. 221-229; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Systems
  • ASME 2011 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Systems, MEMS and NEMS: Volume 2
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, July 6–8, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4462-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Back in 2008 IBM reintroduced water cooling technology into its high performance computing platform, the Power 575 Supercomputing node/system. Water cooled cold plates were used to cool the processor modules which represented about half of the total system (rack) heat load. An air-to-liquid heat exchanger was also mounted in the rear door of the rack to remove a significant fraction of the other half of the rack heat load; the heat load to air. The next generation of this platform, the Power 775 Supercomputing node/system, is a monumental leap forward in computing performance and energy efficiency. The compute node and system were designed from the start with water cooling in mind. The result, a system with greater than 96% of it’s heat load conducted directly to water; a system that, together with a rear door heat exchanger, removes 100% of it’s heat load to water with no requirement for room air conditioning. In addition to the processor, memory, power conversion, and I/O electronics conduct their heat to water. Included within the framework of the system is a disk storage unit (disc enclosure) containing an interboard air-to-water heat exchanger. This paper will overview the water cooling system featuring the water conditioning unit and rack manifolds. Advances in technology over this system’s predecessor will be highlighted. An overview of the cooling assemblies within the server drawer (i.e. central electronics complex,) the disc enclosure, and the centralized (Bulk) power conversion system will also be given. Further, techniques to enhance performance and energy efficiency will also be described.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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