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Inspur hot on liquid-cooled servers as part of quest for carbon neutrality

Cold plate tech to be deployed across entire portfolio, pledges China-based contract manufacturer

Server maker Inspur is going all-in on liquid cooling, making cold plate cooling technology available across its portfolio and working with third parties to assemble full-lifecycle solutions.

Inspur, which is a big supplier to cloud providers, said the move is another step towards becoming carbon neutral. It will offer cold plate liquid-cooling tech for all of its products, including general-purpose servers, high-density servers, rack servers, and the systems it labels as AI servers.

Cold plate cooling technology sees a liquid coolant circulated through heatsinks attached to components such as the CPU that generate a lot of heat. The heat is typically transferred by the coolant to a heat exchanger from where it can be dissipated, or is transferred to an external coolant circuit.

Other types of liquid cooling see server nodes sit fully immersed inside a liquid bath, typically a non-conductive dielectric fluid, which transfers heat away from the components.

The move comes as some in the industry predict that liquid cooling will soon become a necessary feature even for mainstream server systems. Next-generation CPUs from Intel and AMD will likely push the limits for fan-based systems to keep servers cool enough, according to Cisco, which outlined the problem to our sister site The Next Platform recently.

Inspur said it has developed a special liquid-cooled rack server, the ORS3000S, to meet demands from datacenter operators for higher cooling efficiency and lower energy consumption. Cold plate liquid-cooling technology in this system increases cooling efficiency by 50 percent, the company claims. The ORS3000S also makes use of a centralized power supply design with built-in redundancy that powers multiple nodes and is 10 percent more efficient than using separate supplies.

Meanwhile, the more general-purpose NF5280M6 server is compatible with both air-cooled and liquid-cooled technologies, but using cold plate liquid cooling reduces the system's power consumption used for cooling by 80 percent, said Inspur. It features connectors for a variety of mainstream devices, offering greater flexibility in decoupling from liquid-cooled racks.

China-based Inspur said it is working with industry partners to implement the best end-to-end cooling solutions for customers, covering the entire lifecycle from design and consultation to product customization, delivery, and deployment.

Inspur also claims to have built a large development and manufacturing facility in Asia for liquid-cooled datacenter infrastructure to drive adoption of the technology. The facility is said to have the capacity to deliver 100,000 servers annually, enabling mass delivery of liquid-cooled rack servers on a delivery cycle of 5-7 days.

Last month, Inspur beat HPE to the punch with the launch of an Arm-based mainstream server. The NF5280R6 is built around Ampere's Altra and Altra Max processors and is a dual-socket rack-mount system in a 2U enclosure. The company said that it had delivered an Arm-based server to meet anticipated customer demand for such systems. ®

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