Keep it cool with CO2

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HightechXL member Incooling believes it has the future solution for computer chip cooling: liquid carbon dioxide. As consumer demand for data continues to explode, data centers are working harder than ever to process the mass of information, which generates a lot of heat and slows efficiency.

Credit: Incooling

While most data centers employ air-cooling systems aimed at cooling entire buildings, this traditional method is uneconomical. More recently, other systems, like chilled water, pumped refrigerant and immersion cooling, have also come into use. Inspired by the technology utilized at CERN, Incooling has opted for yet another technique. The Eindhoven-based company has developed a cooling block that can be attached directly to heat-generating computer chips. The blocks contain channels, about the thickness of a strand of hair, where the liquid CO2 is pumped through, absorbing the heat and cooling the electronics.

“Cooling with CO2 has three important advantages,” reveals managing director Rudie Verweij to Eindhovens Dagblad. “It ensures lower energy costs. In addition, the chips last longer. You can keep them at a constant temperature, which ensures that they endure less damage because they suffer from temperature changes. The qualities of the chip also come into their own better. Heat forms a limit, then they work slower.”