SuperMicro CEO predicts liquid cooling will rack up 2,900 percent growth in two years

Upgrading to improve density is the new green

Computex SuperMicro CEO Charles Liang expects liquid cooling will be installed in 30 percent of racks the company ships next year – vast growth, given the market for such kit has been moribund for decades.

In his keynote speech at Taiwan's Computex event, Liang revealed SuperMicro has tooled up to build 1,000 racks a month equipped with its direct liquid cooling (DLC) tech and can send them out the door just two to four weeks after receiving an order. The CEO asserted that's a vast improvement on lead times for liquid cooling, which he claimed have previously been four months to a year.

Liang told the audience SuperMicro expects 15 percent of racks it sells this year to use DLC, and 30 percent to employ it next year.

That growth represents a break-out for liquid cooling – a tech Liang claimed has earned just one percent market share in the thirty years it's been available.

We're writing this in 2024, so AI is obviously part of the reason for Liang's optimism. He reasoned that GPUs run hot and consume lots of power, so SuperMicro DLC's ability to keep 80kW to 100kW racks from melting down meets the moment.

He also offered the Computex crowd some calculations about DLC's ability to cut energy costs by removing the need for some air conditioning in datacenters, and the tech's positive impact on datacenter designs and therefore build costs.

The CEO's numbers suggested that liquid-cooled datacenters consume less energy and allow denser and more productive deployments – meaning more productive datacenters.

To fill those datacenters, SuperMicro used Computex to announce systems optimized for Nvidia's forthcoming Blackwell GPU, including a 10U air-cooled and a 4U liquid-cooled rig built for the HGX B200-based system. The firm also has an air-cooled HGX B100 system in the works, plus a GB200 NVL72 rack containing 72 interconnected GPUs with Nvidia NVLink switches. SuperMicro has also promised systems based on Intel's Xeon 6.

Liang is not alone in promoting denser datacenters at Computex. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and AMD CEO Lisa Su both suggested upgrades to their latest server CPUs will mean racks full of kit can be replaced with mere handfuls of machines. Doing so, they argue, improves sustainability, because this year's models of servers and CPUs will handle existing workloads while consuming less energy.

Left unexamined – as is almost always the case – is the environmental impact of creating those servers and silicon.

Yet SuperMicro, AMD, and Intel are in agreement that upgrades and server consolidation are responsible acts for buyers' bottom lines and Earth's health – and also set you up perfectly to fill empty rack slots with GPUs that let you tap AI for profit.

Liang also revealed that in Q4 SuperMicro will open a facility in Malaysia that can pump out 5,000 racks full of kit each month. ®

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