back to article Iceotope sounds like a kids' superhero – but it's a UK server-cooler maker that just bagged £6.1m

The UK's Sheffield-based Iceotope has grabbed $10m (£6.10m) in funding to help it push its liquid-cooling server tech into more data centres. The cash injection was announced on Monday, and should let the company double in size from 16 to more than 30 employees in the next year, Iceotope chief executive Peter Hopton told The …


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  1. frank ly

    Just wondering

    Why use a two stage heat transfer construction within the module? If they pumped the Novec fluid through, in direct flowing contact with the motherboard, it would give more effective heat transfer. I realise the fluid is probably not cheap, but you could have a short Novec fluid pipe run to a larger, more easily made and cheaper water linked heat exchanger that served many modules, or an entire cabinet.

    1. PeterHopton

      Re: Just wondering

      Hi Frank,

      Novec and similar materials are great convectors of heat (20-40 times better than water for natural convection), but are difficult to pumped (they have a high vapour pressure when warm). Iceotope harness the natural convective properties of the coolant in order to have it circulate at high speeds within the cartridge without any pumping at all.

      Water is easy to pump and once the Novec has done its job the heat is spread evenly over a large surface area, so the water can operate effectively at sub atmospheric pressures.

      Coolants like Novec are expensive, Iceotope minimise the coolant volume with the design.

      Furthermore the decoupling of coolants allows for additional resilience and scalability of a system level in isolating any primary coolant loss from the rest of the system.

      1. frank ly
        Thumb Up

        Re: Just wondering

        Thank you Peter - it all makes sense now :)

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Time to by SAN stock

    This is a lovely concept. However - it is compute only. Hard disks really dislike oil getting inside their spinning bits through the breather holes. In fact, some have so low design tolerances that they cannot even take running at 3000 m above sea level because the air is rarified. Granted, this is supposed to change once we have sealed cartridges full of He, however we are not there yet.

    So you either need an all-solid state drive setup or external arrays with good oldfashioned spinning rust which is still air cooled.

  3. Long John Brass

    I remember a time, when dinosaurs ruled the earth

    Was in a big data-centre and they were in the process of installing a new IBM mainframe. The IBM installation engineers had pipe wrenches in their tools kits; Close inspection revealed large pipes labelled "Chilled Water" running into the guts of the beast

    The wheel turns eh

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