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Utilizing DIMM flow blockages to balance a blade server impedance and increase DIMM cooling.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000189090D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Oct-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Oct-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 210K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

As with every new generation of new computer platforms, the amount of supported memory in the form of DIMMs is increasing. This makes it difficult to accommodate all of the necessary hardware required for the server (CPUs, memory, HDD, and supporting chips). The increasing difficulty in packaging these devices forces the thermal engineer to place components in non favorable locations. Disclosed is a solution to the need for additional CPU cooling by increasing the memory cooling efficiency.

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Utilizing DIMM flow blockages to balance a blade server impedance and increase DIMM cooling.

As with every new generation of new computer platforms, the amount of supported memory in the form of DIMMs is increasing. This makes it difficult to accommodate all of the necessary hardware required for the server (CPUs, memory, HDD, and supporting chips). The increasing difficulty in packaging these devices forces the thermal engineer to place components in non favorable locations. Cooling solutions are generally separated into zones. In the case of a blade server, the HDDs are place in a zone in front of the CPUs, likewise the two memory banks are shadowed in the center, in their own zone. It is important to balance the airflow through the blade and each zone, such that all devices get adequate cooling. Conventional design techniques results in a lack of airflow through the CPUs with under utilization of the airflow being delivered to the memory, resulting in overheating components and poor cooling and energy efficiency. The described solution solves the need for additional CPU cooling by increasing the memory cooling efficiency.

The DIMM zone has much lower impedance, compared to the CPU zones. This means that the majority of the airflow will go through the DIMM zone and not to the 2 CPU zones. The disclosed solution correctly balances the airflow between all three sections.

A DIMM channel blockage is used to increase the impedance of the DIMM zone. The blockages fit in between the DIMM connectors to force airflow upward toward the DRAM. This new structure achieves several goals. First, it increases the impedance of the DIMM zone. Second, it directs the airflow that would normally be bypassing the DRAM into a path that cools the DRAM. Third, it increases air flow through the CPU zones.

This new approach better utilizes the airflow allocated to the DIMM section by making use of the airflow that would have bypassed the DIMM, slipping through between the connectors. The result is a more thermally effective solution to an airflow and cooling challenge.

A DIMM is supported by a connector which provides both mechanical and electrical interface to the planer. The DIMM heat sinks are high impedance and the empty space between the connectors is low impedance. The spaces between the DIMM connectors are typically left open, as seen in Figu...