HP debuts computing system that cools itself with water


PALO ALTO, CA - MAY 23: A rollerblader skates by a sign outside of the Hewlett-Packard headquarters on May 23, 2014 in Palo Alto, California. The company this week announced a new high-performance computing system that uses liquid to cool itself. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hewlett-Packard this week released a new set of high performance computing systems for businesses, including one that uses water to cool itself.

At the company’s annual customer conference in Las Vegas, HP announced the HP Apollo series of high performance computing systems: the Apollo 6000 system, which is air-cooled, and the Apollo 8000, which is entirely liquid-cooled.

The Apollo 8000 was designed to be energy efficient and could help data centers eliminate 3,800 tons of carbon dioxide waste a year, according to HP. The United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory selected the design for its high performance computers, which are used for modeling and simulation during research on renewable energy and energy efficiency technology; it uses the warm water to supply heat to its offices and lab spaces. (NREL is the Energy Department’s main research lab and is based in Golden, Colo.)

HP’s announcement could be an effort to renew interest in computing systems that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Worldwide factory revenue for high performance computing technical servers dropped 7.2 percent to $10.3 billion for 2013, down from $11.1 billion in 2012, according to an IDC report released in March.

In the second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, HP reported that revenue from its business group dropped 2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013.

Despite declining revenue, Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s servers and networking division said in a statement that “[d]emand for [high performance computing] applications across industries is growing rapidly, and today’s data centers are ill-equipped to handle the extensive space, power and infrastructure necessary to run the required level of processing power.”

Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication.
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