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Categories: Lenovo Supercomputer

This week @Lenovo took the wraps off the #ThinkSystem #SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with partner Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Germany. The servers are designed to operate using warm water, up to 45°C for general deployments and for special bid projects up to 50°C, lowering datacenter power consumption 30-40 percent compared to traditional cooling methods, according to Lenovo. Nearly 6,500 of the ThinkSystems SD650s featuring Intel Xeon Platinum (Skylake) processors interconnected with Intel Omni-Path Architecture will be put into production at LRZ this year, providing the supercomputing center with 26.7 petaflops of peak performance, housed in a little over 100 racks. The SuperMUC-NG supercomputer will be deployed with Lenovo’s new Lenovo Intelligent Computing Orchestrator (LiCO) and the Lenovo Energy Aware Runtime (EAR) software, a technology that dynamically optimizes system infrastructure power while applications are running.  Lenovo’s Scott Tease holding a ThinkSystem SD650 server “Pretty much all the investments that we made to get to exascale LRZ is taking advantage of in this bid we won with them,” said Scott Tease, executive director, HPC and AI at Lenovo in an on-site briefing at Lenovo’s headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina, last week. “We will start building systems and start shipping them in March; the floor will be ready by the end of April, and move-in starts in early May. We’ll be ready to do acceptance in September with final customer acceptance in November.” The direct-water cooled design of the SD650 enables 85-90 percent heat recovery; the rest can easily be managed by a standard computer room air conditioner. The hot water coming off the servers can be recycled to warm buildings in the winter, as LRZ does with its petascale SuperMUC cluster, but the technology developed by Lenovo for SuperMUC-NG actually transforms that heat energy back into cooling for networking and storage components. The endothermic magic trick only works with “high quality heat,” Lenovo thermal engineer Vinod Kamath told us, so LRZ’s SD650 servers were designed to be able to consume 50°C inlet temperatures. Water is piped out of the servers at 58-60°C depending on workload and sent through an adsorption chiller, where it is converted to chilled 20°C water suitable for cooling storage and networking components. If you’re using chilled water to cool servers you can’t really take advantage of the economics of the adsorption chiller. With 60°C inlet water, the efficiency of Lenovo’s adsorption chiller is about 60 percent. If your energy source has a higher temperature, say 80-90°C then the extraction is even more efficient, but 60°C is good enough to realize significant savings. Adsorption chilling will be applied to half the nodes of the next-gen LRZ install, generating about 600 kilowatts of chilled water capacity. This translates into more than 100,000 Euros a year in saved energy cost at the European site, where the rate for energy is about 16-18 Eurocents per kilowatt-hour (roughly 2-3 times the cost for similar sites in the United States). Lenovo claims a 45-50 percent energy savings with the endothermic reaction versus a traditional compressor, dropping the datacenter PUE from 1.6 to less than 1.1.

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