The demand for AI, cloud computing, and crypto mining has led to a significant increase in power consumption in data centers. As a tech investor, this presents a promising opportunity for growth in the data center thermal management field. According to a report by IDTechEx, the global annual revenue for data center liquid cooling hardware is expected to exceed $900 million by 2033.
There are two main types of thermal management in data centers: liquid cooling and air cooling. While air cooling is more traditional and widely used, liquid cooling has gained popularity due to its higher specific heat capacity, which makes it more efficient in dissipating heat. Liquid cooling methods include direct-to-chip cooling and immersion cooling.
Direct-to-chip cooling involves mounting a cold plate on top of heat sources, such as CPUs and GPUs, to absorb and transfer heat away from the components. This method has demonstrated great performance but has been limited by the expertise of end-users in integrating cold plates onto their servers. Collaboration between server suppliers and cold plate manufacturers is accelerating the adoption of this cooling method.
Immersion cooling, on the other hand, submerges the heat sources into a coolant for direct contact and efficient heat dissipation. Although it offers excellent heat dissipation performance, immersion cooling requires significant modifications to existing server boards and has high upfront costs and maintenance requirements. However, major players like Microsoft and Meta are expected to adopt immersion cooling in the future.
As a tech investor, the growth of liquid cooling in data centers presents opportunities for server manufacturers, data center operators, coolant fluid suppliers, and coolant distribution unit (CDU)/pump suppliers. While immersion cooling may take time to be widely adopted, there are significant opportunities for companies in the coolant suppliers’ market.
Overall, the increasing demand for higher cooling capacity in data centers suggests a promising future for liquid cooling technologies. Tech investors can capitalize on this trend by supporting companies involved in the development and implementation of liquid cooling solutions. For more detailed information, refer to IDTechEx’s latest report on “Thermal Management for Data Centers 2023-2033”.