Water cooling for supercomputers unveiled in Switzerland

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Swiss researchers on Thursday unveiled a water-cooling system to cut the heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

Up to half of a data centre's energy consumption is used in the powering of air cooling systems necessary to prevent supercomputers from overheating.

Through the new water cooling system, called Aquasar, researchers are aiming to cut the excess power consumption.

"With Aquasar, we are achieving an important contribution for the development of a sustainable high performance processor and computer system," said project chief Dimos Poulikakos.

"In the future, how efficient each processor is by watt and by carbon dioxide gram would be determinant," added the professor from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, which developed the system with IBM.

According to the institute, the water cooling system would cut the carbon footprint of the supercomputer by up to 85 percent and save up to 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

© 2010 AFP

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