SK Forms Another Coolant Tie-up


SK Forms Another Coolant Tie-up
A technician uses a thermal imaging camera to check server computer temperature in a data center's server room. © Yentafern /

SK Enmove has entered another partnership to develop and supply immersion coolants for data centers – this time teaming with sister company SK Telecom and cooling system designer Iceotope.

Their agreement calls for an Iceotope Precision Liquid Cooling system filled with coolant supplied by SK Enmove to be deployed at SK Telecom’s AI (artificial Intelligence) Data Center Testbed to test the system and further develop it.

SKT is South Korea’s largest mobile phone service provider but has stated its intent to make artificial intelligence a core part of its business, providing solutions and services such as data centers.

“By combining core technologies and capabilities of SKT, Iceotope and SK Enmove, we expect to develop innovative energy efficiency solutions that can not only help us strengthen our competitiveness in AI data centers, but also put us on the right path towards sustainability,” SKT Vice President and Head of Future Research and Development Lee Jong-min said in a Feb. 28 news release.

Analysts are predicting an explosion of AI usage and need for data centers that support it, and this in turn is expected to spur demand for immersion coolants. Data centers use large amounts of electricity, and with power demand maxing out in many parts of the world, there is growing impetus to make them more energy efficient.

Because air conditioning and cooling systems are responsible for the largest portion of their power usage, one way to make centers more energy efficient is to more effectively manage the large amounts of heat they generate. While the industry mostly uses air cooling today, analysts predict a shift to immersion cooling, which is more effective.

Numerous lubricant companies are trying to position themselves to serve that market, and tie-ups with data center providers and cooling system manufacturers are becoming a popular strategy. SK Enmove has entered previous agreements with Dell and GRC. Other companies such as Shell, BP Castrol and Lubrizol have entered similar deals.

Iceotope, which is headquartered in Barcelona, offers cooling solutions including its PLC technology, which aims to provide extreme cooling performance along with simplified maintenance and lower cost.

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