IEEE Transactions on CPMT

Improving Data Center Energy Efficiency With Advanced Thermal Management

Download paper


Experimental investigation of data center cooling and computational energy efficiency improvement through advanced thermal management was performed. A chiller-less data center liquid cooling system was developed that transfers the heat generated from computer systems to the outdoor ambient environment while eliminating the need for energy-intensive vapor-compression refrigeration. This liquid cooling system utilizes a direct-attach cold-plate approach that enables the use of warm water at temperature a few degrees above outdoor ambient to achieve lower chip junction temperatures than refrigerated air. Using this approach, we demonstrated a cooling energy reduction by over 90% and computational energy reduction of up to 14% compared to traditional refrigerated air cooled data centers. To enable future computational efficiency improvements through high-density 3-D-chip stacking, we developed a 3-D compatible chip-embedded two-phase liquid cooling technology where a dielectric coolant is pumped through microscale cavities to provide thermal management of chips within the stack. In two-phase cooling, liquid is converted to vapor, which increases the capacity to remove heat, while the dielectric fluid enables integration with chip electrical interconnects. A test vehicle simulating an eight-core microprocessor was fabricated with embedded cooling channels. Results demonstrate that this volumetrically efficient cooling solution compatible with 3-D chip stacks can manage three times the core power density of today's high-power processor while maintaining the device temperature well within limits.


01 Aug 2017


IEEE Transactions on CPMT