ASIC and mining data center firm BitFury Group has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Allied Control, a Hong Kong-based technology startup that builds advanced immersion cooling systems for supercomputing and data center applications.
In two years, blockchain transaction processing or cryptocurrency mining has evolved through several hardware generations arriving at high-end 28nm and 20nm ASIC chips used today. Power consumption per chip can exceed that of high-grade gaming GPUs, supercomputer CPUs and accelerator cards.
The rapidly evolving power density of blockchain transaction processing clusters coupled with their short life cycle makes deployment in conventional air cooled data centers challenging. A key solution lies in the use of immersion cooling which eliminates the need to maintain fan or water cooling systems prone to malfunction or breakdowns.
Valery Vavilov, BitFury CEO, commented:
We are very excited about Allied Control and its founders joining our team. This acquisition will enable us to substantially increase energy efficiency of our data centers and speed up deployment of our new ASIC chip allowing to lower overall capital expenditure. In addition, it provides an opportunity for us to enter new markets such as HPC, using the experience of the Allied Control team. The use of immersion cooling will provide BitFury with flexibility when choosing locations for our data centers.
Two-phase immersion thermal management is a viable technology for meeting the power density and energy efficiency needs of the high performance computing market. Power densities up to 100 times higher than a typical air cooled server have been cooled this way with efficiency superior to direct water cooling.
In a two-phase immersion cooled system, electronic components are submerged into a bath of dielectric heat transfer liquids, which are much better heat conductors than air, water or oil. With their various low boiling points, the fluids boil on the surface of heat generating components and rising vapor passively takes care of heat transfer.
In contrast to submersion oil cooling, liquids are clean, environmentally friendly and non-flammable. No heat sinks, pumps and jets are required to keep hardware cool. Circulation happens passively by the natural process of evaporation and without spending any extra energy. It is this simplicity that eliminates conventional cooling hardware and results in better cooling efficiency. Compared to traditional air, water or oil cooling, this passive process results in the use of much less energy.
Kar-Wing Lau, VP of Operations at Allied Control commented:
We are very glad to partner with BitFury and to help them further increase the efficiency of their operations. Both blockchain technology and two-phase immersion cooling are very disruptive in nature. Passive two-phase immersion cooling is especially promising for blockchain transaction processors as it addresses their need for flexibility and rapid deployment while allowing to take full advantage of higher hardware power density. BitFury, with its focus on efficiency, renewable energy and innovation, is the perfect match for this technology.
Founded in 2011, BitFury currently has more than 70 team members globally at management offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam and Riga, as well as data-centers in Finland, Iceland and the Republic of Georgia.
In October 2014, BitFury closed a $20 Million Series A funding round, totaling $40 million in two rounds. The firm’s investors include the Georgian Co-Investment Fund, former Verifone CFO Bob Dykes, Google and Facebook vet Lars Rasmussen, former iAsiaWorks CEO Bill Tai, Binary Capital founder Jonathan Teo, ZAD Investments, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Binary Financial, and Crypto Currency Partners.