Podcast: Extreme Power and Cooling Efficiency at DownUnder GeoSolutions

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Cooling tanks under construction for the Bubba supercomputer

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at an interesting presentation on Power and Cooling by Stuart Midgley from DownUnder GeoSolutions. Their 250 Petaflop “Bubba” supercomputer uses immersive cooling for extreme density and power efficiency.

DUG cools the massive Houston computer using its own patented immersion system that submerges the computer nodes in more than 700 specially-designed tanks filled with polyalphaolefin dielectric fluid. This greatly reduces both energy usage and costs, and increases the life and efficiency of the hardware, making it one of, if not the, greenest compute centers in the world.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Henry Newman’s Feel-Good Security Corner. Henry has good news actually. Targeted by a usually deadly ransomware attack, a city in Massachusetts managed to restore operations without paying a dime. Nice job! But Dan thinks this is a back-handed way of saying you should stay offline!
  • Catch of the Week.
    • Henry talks about new technology that is using carbon nanotubes to build microprocessors. Shahin says this was on the TSMC roadmap slide after you get past 7 and 5nm. It’s reassuring that the academic research is pushing to make this an industrial reality. After years of tackling numerous design and manufacturing challenges, MIT researchers have built a modern microprocessor from carbon nanotube transistors, which are widely seen as a faster, greener alternative to their traditional silicon counterparts. The microprocessor, described today in the journal Nature, can be built using traditional silicon-chip fabrication processes, representing a major step toward making carbon nanotube microprocessors more practical.
    • Dan talks about the new experience he had during a 12 hour layover at the Perth airport in Australia. He decided to use the shower facilities. Generally a good experience but he has some pointers for you.

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