IBM unveils Aquasar – a high-performance computer cooled by water!

IBM unveils Aquasar – a high-performance computer cooled by water!

In one of the most recent attempts in support of green technology, IBM has unveiled a ground-breaking high-performance computer (HPC) called Aquasar, which by using water for cooling, will reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from data centers.

Developed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), Aquasar will also recycle some of the waste heat, and would lead to a nearly 40 percent cutback in overall energy consumption, vis-a-vis the other similar air-cooled massive supercomputers.

According to the claims by IBM and ETH, Aquasar will help decrease the carbon footprint of the computer system by as much as 85 percent - as against the current systems - thereby leading to a yearly saving of up to 30 tons of CO2. To become operational in 2010 at ETH Zurich in 2010, the energy-efficient Aquasar system will expectedly deliver nearly 10 Teraflops peak performance. The closed circuit cooling system of the supercomputer will need only about 2.64 gallons of water for cooling, with a pump helping the water flow at roughly 7.9 gallons per minute.

Commenting on the motive behind the Aquasar project, lead researcher Dimos Poulikakos said: "We cannot afford anymore to design computer systems based on the criterion of computational speed and performance alone. The new target must be high performance and low net power consumption supercomputers and data centers. This means liquid cooling."