Intel to Develop Sensors for Data Center Cooling

Intel will add sensors that help in data center cooling to its line-up. As per the U.S. Department of Energy about 40% of the cost of running a data center comes from the power needed to run chillers and air handlers to cool equipment.

They also say that half of the cooling capacity in a data center is wasted due to inefficiency. This is where the computational fluid dynamics software along with the sensors on the Intel server chips will help make a major difference.

The sensors, which can be added without any physical modification to existing hardware, measure in real time the total airflow pushed through the server and average outlet temperature. This data is collected and used to identify hot or cold spots, recirculation or bypass. Then the temperature and airflow are adjusted based on the findings.

The DatacenterDynamics conference in San Francisco last week was where Intel provided proof of concept. It was based on a study which it conducted with Future Facilities. The test proved that the on chip sensors made it easier for the CFD tools to model air movement in the data center more accurately.

Akhil Docca, engineering and product manager at Future Facilities said that if CFD modeling is done properly you can really get closer to the physics of the data center, and if you can visualize your airflow, you can manage it. Intel will allow the technology to be used by server vendors in 2012.

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