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Bidirectional airflow cooling method for servers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200315D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-05
Document File: 5 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In general it is very difficult to meet cooling parameters for servers. Designers are constantly limited on layout options due to not enough fresh air getting to the back of the server or components and heatsinks blocking the airflow. As an example, memory usually receives preheated air from the CPUs with fans typically placed in the front side of the board. Current methods are designed to cool in one direction or provide water cooling capabilities which may require additional specialized components. This invention proposes a unique solution to this problem. By placing the fans in the center of the server and facing opposite directions, the amount of preheated air to critical components can be reduced. The disclosed solution would allow for more components to receive fresh air.

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Bidirectional airflow cooling method for servers

When using processors with integrated memory controllers, it is no longer necessary to have the processors placed in one area and the memory in another. Each processor can have its own set of memory. We take advantage of this flexibility, by setting up fans in the center of a chassis; cool air will flow from the center of the chassis toward the front and back, with hotter components (typically processor and memory) placed to either side of the fans. This will provide a constant flow of cool air to the high heat generating components, also allowing the rest of the system to receive less preheated air.

In doing this, cool air comes in from the sides of the server and heated air exits from the front and back simultaneously. This cooling method could be implemented using centrifugal fans to allow for air intake to be perpendicular to the outtake. Several illustrations are presented in a 1U environment but it is not limited to a particular type of server as long as they use processors with integrated memory controllers.

Figure 1 shows a typical existing server solution. Fans are generally located at the front of the server with air flowing from front to back.

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Figure 1

Figure 2 shows the general proposed enhanced design. In this design the fans are located in the center of the chassis and the board layout is structured to place the components that generate more heat to each side of the fans. This spread the heat load such as more components receive fresh air. This structure also reduces the airflow impedance.

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Figure 2

Figure 3 shows one of tw...