Inventor makes new cooling technology

SANTA ROSA MAN IN TALKS WITH CRAIG, DELL, INTEL SAYS HE CAN COOL PCS, SERVERS AT LOWER COST

Monday, May 7, 2007

BY LORALEE STEVENS, STAFF REPORTER

THE NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

SANTA ROSA ā€“ When IT specialist Alan Cohen got into video gaming eight years ago, he meant business. He turbo-rigged his PCs to get a speed advantage on Doom III and Quake, but the added computing power generated so much heat he blew out his systems.

So he began to fiddle with cooling systems, refining his successes until he was able to reach a whopping 45 percent performance increase without burning up the machine.

“I pushed the limits of cooling, working out the wrinkles, until I had a product that I can guarantee will give the most powerful systems, including the new dual core central processing units, a performance boost of at least 25 percent, with a 50 to 80 percent reduction in cooling costs,” said Mr. Cohen.

With the help of Steve Schneider at the Santa Rosa Junior College Sawyer Center, he patented it.

Mr. Cohen’s technology is based on a highly modified liquid cooling process, long a no-no in the computing industry, where condensation produced by cooling below the dew point can quickly ruin a system.

“My technology is impervious to dew point. It’ll work as well in the desert in Arizona as the Florida Everglades. And it only cools the components that need to be cooled, not the entire system,” he said.

Powering and cooling the new generation of supercomputers and dual core computers costs about $29 billion yearly, according to a study by IDC. Hewlett Packard studies show that for every dollar spent on powering servers, $1.50 is spent on cooling them.

Industry experts say traditional cooling will no longer do the job.

“Intel chips run too damn hot,” said Clay Ryder, president of the Union City-based Sageza market analysis group.

“If you look at performance gains over the past few years, they’ve come from putting more transistors on a die and pumping up the clock rate. Thermodynamics has caught up with us.”

Liquid cooling technologies are now being spoken of with a great deal of hope.

Mr. Cohen approached the computer manufacturers Craig, Dell and Intel with his prototype and they’re interested, he said.

Craig has agreed to test the technology; Dell and Intel are still at the talking stage.

“PG&E told me if I could beta the product and show a reduction in energy use, they’ll endorse it. Now I’m looking for beta sites, either a data center or a group of new generation PCs. My system can easily handle up to seven of the hottest-running machines made for under $25 a month.”efficiency and a $95,000 rebate from PG&E.

“My system could be installed for half the price and save them an additional 50 percent of energy costs,” said Mr. Cohen.

“I’m eager to get it out there, where it can start doing some good for the computer industry and the environment.”