Podcast: NVIDIA, Equinix, JetCool Talk Data Center Liquid Cooling, GTC 2024 AI Conference Trends

April 2, 2024
The discussion begins with a focus on the latest data center industry insights in the context of products, partnerships, and trend-leadership as revealed at the NVIDIA GTC 2024 AI Conference (Mar. 18-21).

As recorded on March 22, 2024, this episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast features the following participants:

The podcast discussion begins with a focus on NVIDIA's latest insights, as imparted by Heydari, in the context of products, partnerships, and trend-leadership, as revealed at the recent NVIDIA GTC 2024 AI Conference (Mar. 18-21). 

The conversation opens up to look at broader implications and developments within the tech and data center industries, such as Equinix's plans to enable liquid cooling at more than 100 data centers globally, and facets of their latest partnership with NVIDIA, as characterized by Hopwood. 

The discussion turns to JetCool's history of providing innovative liquid cooling solutions for high-density chipsets, underlining the critical role of cooling technologies in support of the rapid growth of AI applications in data centers. 

The talk also explores ways of advancing efficiency and sustainability in high-powered clusters through warm coolants and heat reuse, considering energy efficiency directives in the EU and UK.

Here's timeline of the podcast's highlights:

0:12 - Introductions for a Liquid Cooling Themed Podcast to Round Out the Week of the NVIDIA GTC 2024 AI Conference

1:09 - NVIDIA's Ali Heydari discusses the introduction of two new products, emphasizing liquid cooling capabilities and partnerships with various industry players:

"It's been a great week not just for Nvidia, but I think for the entire data center industry. Personally, I've been on a pursuit to get liquid cooling inside of the data center for the last 25 years of my life.

Today with NVIDIA, with the number of partners from the major CDU manufacturers, the cold plate manufacturers, data centers, CSP's, NCP's, hyperscalers - just about everybody who is involved with the data center is aligned with our roadmap.

We introduced two products [at GTC]: basically a 1 x 36 GPUs rack which comes in twins with NV link connections. We call them GB 200 platforms and they're capable of pushing around 60 kW. Around 85% is liquid cooled."

3:19 - NVIDIA's Heydari notes further: 

"One of the biggest challenge we saw was the operational challenge of having enough liquid to air heat exchangers, liquid to liquid CDUs available for the products that we are pushing. I'm happy to say that we're getting a great response from just across the board from both OEM and ODM manufacturers. I think that product is going to be able to be shipped and supported by a number of CDU vendors throughout the industry."

3:49 - A question from DCF about heat capture at the chip as a percentage and dealing with the waste heat, in terms of other appliances in the rack that don't have chip level cooling capability.

6:58 - Marcus Hopwood from Equinix highlights his company's partnership with Nvidia for Private AI solutions, while addressing customer concerns about data security and the performance benefits of liquid cooling.

9:21 - JetCool's Bernie Malouin holds forth on how how AI has increased demand for liquid cooling and how his company's liquid cooling for high-density chipsets is driving innovation to provide solutions for the now-term in data centers.

Malouin says:

"We actually got our start at MIT about twelve years ago, cooling 1000 Watt devices and nobody cared. Nobody cared back then! But with the rise of AI and the amazing things that folks like NVIDIA are doing, now all of a sudden, people are starting to care, and it's for a good reason."

13:51 - NVIDIA's Ali Heydari elaborates on the future of data centers with a combination of air and liquid cooling, discussing the potential for multi-hundred megawatts of rack power, two-phase pump refrigeration, and the transformative impact of AI innovations on computing capabilities.

21:38 - Fantasy-speculation from DCF on 100% liquid-cooled deployments; and more seriously, asking about role of air cooling in conjunction with liquid cooling, seeking insights on closing data centers' hybrid cooling gap.

23:29 - Heydari explains the transition to a hybrid environment of air and liquid cooling in data centers, emphasizing the efficiency and advancements brought by liquid cooling, while acknowledging the continued presence of air cooling in existing infrastructure.

24:53 - DCF inquires about the humanoid robots showcased at GTC.

25:35 - Heydari reflects on the overall impact of AI showcased at GTC, particularly highlighting NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang's keynote speech, with insights into the future regarding the transformative potential of AI technology.


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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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