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Cooling Methodologies—The Tail Wagging the Dog

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Discovering how to maximize cooling at the lowest cost and highest efficiency.

Complex military and industrial applications require complex computing solutions. The end user, or committee of end users, writes a requirements list,Inside a heat pipe pretty much shooting for the moon. The specification is released to the programming group, and they define the processing platform required to execute the new code. This platform might include two, or more, 8, 10 or 12-core processors, a ton of RAM, one, or more, high performance GPUs, video processing, multiple high-performance hard drives and user I/O boards plus the power supply. The environment and physical envelope will have been defined. However, the last thing the people in this process think about is how to cool this power-hungry beast. How is the heat pulled out of the system, and where is it going to be sent? The code may be developed not on the end-use processing hardware, but instead in a large desktop enclosure sitting in a cool office setting. When deployed to the field, heat issues ultimately limit performance and reliability.

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