Tuesday Jul 18, 2023

Notes on Cooling and the Future of Power

The latest episode of the Data Center Frontier Show podcast begins with the site's editors Matt Vincent and David Chernicoff  commemorating the "hand off" of show hosting duties from DCF founder and Editor at Large Rich Miller. As duly noted, this transition of course occurs amid another terrifying, annually recurring "hottest year on record" for planet Earth. The discussion between editors unfolds to focus on two areas wherein David has done significant reporting this year, based on a wealth of accumulated industry knowledge: data center cooling and the future of power for data centers. Tune in to hear the editors unsuccessfully attempt to bypass the topic of A.I. for even just three minutes...

Here’s a timeline of points Matt and David discuss on the podcast:

0:00 - Podcast Hand-Off Notes: 'Oh Captain, My Captain'
1:17 - Hello to David Chernicoff in the Hottest Year on Record (Again)
2:03 - Cooling and the Future of Power (and the Impact of AI) 
2:55 - "Whatever space you give it, it will fill."
3:08 - Doing the math for a tray of NVIDIA H100 processors. 
4:02 - 10 kW isn't high-density anymore (and DoE's COOLERCHIPS program knows it).
5:02 - Becoming better corporate citizens of the world (or at least Northern Va.)
6:40 - Notes on CO2 Cooling and Liquid Cooling 
7:21 - Replacing HFCs for Less GHGs
9:26 - Liquid Cooling: A Whole Different Ball of Wax
10:44 - Devil's Advocate: Water-based Cooling
13:14 - Incremental Cooling Processes and the Real World
14:17 - "Musk bought 10,000 H100 CPUs..."
15:04 - Cooling in the Hybrid Cloud Environment
16:02 - Data Centers, the Utility Crunch and Nuclear Power
18:01 - The Main Issue is the Grid Itself
19:21 - The Building of New Substations Has to Occur
20:31 - "Is AI the straw that breaks the camel's back?"
23:02 - Implications for Edge Data Centers
24:53 - The Next Hurdle for AI: The Speed of Interconnection

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