Over at the New York Times, Eric Pfanner writes that the KFC prototype supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology uses immersive cooling with mineral oil to make it the most energy-efficient machine of its kind. KFC is 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor, but uses the same amount of energy.
To test the viability of the new system, the Tokyo institute erected a small building, little more than a shed, to house Tsubame KFC just outside a much larger lab that contains an existing supercomputer. Putting it next to a big heat-producing supercomputer gives the academics a chance to determine whether Tsubame KFC can function even when the oil warms up to summertime temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They think it might be possible because modern semiconductors can operate at higher temperatures than their forerunners, Professor Matsuoka said.
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