It might sound like a risky idea, but IBM's new Power 575 supercomputer uses a new system of chip-level water-cooling to keep its processors chilled. Nicknamed "Hydro Cluster", the machine actually uses 448 of the new 5GHz POWER6 processors. They must kick out a hefty heat load because IBM thinks there're eco-friendly uses for the spare hot water. Much like the Swiss town pool mentioned the other day, the suggestion is that it could be used for heating people's homes or even for cooking. Check out the video to see how IBM plans to take water even closer to the chip surface in the future.
The computer was built at the Max Planck Institute for plasma research in Germany, and basically uses an enhanced version of the water-cooling that PC modders love. Apparently it's what helps make this computer quite so "super" in such a small size.
In-chip cooling next, hey? That's pretty neat, and the leak-proofing is going to have to be amazing, but makes perfect sense with the 4,000 times efficiency water cooling offers over air cooling. [IBM press release via Gadget lab]