Liquid Cooling Solutions Run-Through from SC21

Liquid Cooling Supercomputers At SC21
Liquid Cooling Supercomputers At SC21

Based on the feedback from last week at OCP Summit 2021, where we looked at theĀ Wild Hardware of OCP Summit 2021 in a Speed Run, we are doing something similar for SC21. SC21 is much smaller, at around 3,000 people instead of closer to 14,000 folks in 2019. Companies like Lenovo, Intel, NVIDIA, Dell EMC, Arm, and many others are not presenting. HPE has a booth without servers, but there is a lone Cray EX sled occupying AMD’s mostly vacant booth. Overall, there is not a lot here. Perhaps the dominant item being shown is liquid cooling. Companies range from immersion cooling companies to tube and quick connect fitting companies. We wanted to cover this since it is a major trend.

Liquid Cooling Solutions from SC21

Instead of doing ~10 quick connect articles, we are running through the show floor and in ~28 minutes showing all of the liquid cooling companies that we could find. Here is the video:

Of course, we always suggest opening the video in a dedicated YouTube window, tab, or app for the best viewing experience.

Here is the general breakdown of the big sections:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 03:04 A Look at Supercomputer Nodes (why we need liquid cooling)
  • 05:34 Immersion cooling (and semi-related items)
  • 13:11 Rear door heat exchangers and CDUs
  • 18:44 Blocks, Couplers, Pumps, Tubing, and Components
  • 27:51 Final Words

We cover more than two dozen solutions in 28 minutes. There is even a quick look from the St. Lous Gateway Arch and a hit at an upcoming collaboration. Only one company refused to show us their products.

Final Words

I know folks are going to be upset that we did not do individual articles for this. We have done articles on the big items that we have seen, but there is a lot less here than normal. I spoke to Cliff about his appetite for doing ten articles on connectors this week and his feedback was “this is a bad idea.” At some point I have to make the call that even though I traveled to the event, there are limits to what we can, and want to, publish.

Still, liquid cooling is awesome and it is coming in 2022. For our STH readers, check outĀ Liquid Cooling Next-Gen Servers Getting Hands-on with 3 Options. In 2022 we are going to see CPU TDP’s at least 70-80W higher than they are today and GPUs in the 550-600W range. Both accelerated as well as high-end 2U 4-node systems will likely need to be liquid cooled and so we strongly suggest thinking about this today before the need arises.



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