Intel kills plans for $700M liquid and immersion cooling lab • The Register

A $700 million analysis and growth facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, is the most recent venture on Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger’s chopping block.
The x86 big introduced the 200,000-square-foot mega-fab final spring. Intel envisioned the location — positioned 20 miles west of Portland — as a analysis and growth middle the place the chipmaker would prototype, qualify, check, and demo its datacenter portfolio utilizing quite a lot of cooling tech.
“As we speed up our technique and reply to the present demand surroundings, we wish to scale back prices and improve efficiencies by a number of initiatives,” an Intel spokesperson stated in an electronic mail to The Register.

We wish to scale back prices and improve efficiencies by a number of initiatives

“This consists of exploring cheaper actual property choices to proceed our knowledge middle R&D work in Oregon that’s already in progress.” 
Among the many headline developments deliberate for the US West Coast facility was an open reference design for immersion cooling techniques. Because the title suggests, immersion cooling entails submerging entire techniques in a bath of dielectric fluids. Warmth from elements equivalent to software processors and GPUs are captured by the fluid and dissipated utilizing both a liquid-to-liquid warmth exchanger or by evaporation of specialised two-phase fluids developed by the likes of 3M.

Whereas immersion cooling is nothing new — the expertise dates again many years — implementing it at scale has confirmed tough due partly to a scarcity of agreed upon requirements.

Regardless of this, immersion cooling has gained mainstream enchantment in recent times as chips have grown ever hotter. For reference, Intel’s personal datacenter silicon now tops 350W for CPUs and greater than 600W for its GPUs and AI accelerators. Immersion cooling can be extremely environment friendly, able to capturing and rejecting one hundred pc of the warmth generated by techniques. Submer, Iceotope, Midas, and Liquid Stack are only a handful of the distributors engaged on immersion cooling tanks and chassis.
We requested Intel whether or not it will transfer ahead with the event of an immersion cooling reference design at one other location and if there have been another deliberate cancellations on the horizon; we’ll let if we hear something again.
Damaged guarantees
The cancellation is the most recent cost-cutting measure following a few dismal quarters for Intel, the newest of which noticed the manufacturing titan’s revenues plummet 20 p.c yr over yr.
Final week, Intel issued a California employee adjustment and retraining notification (WARN) discover for 544 jobs and confirmed the termination of a $200 million analysis and growth middle in Haifa, Israel. The high-tech campus was one of many first bulletins Gelsinger made after changing former chief exec Bob Swan in 2021. Intel will full development of a parking storage on the location, in line with Israeli publication Globes.

R&D services might not be the one issues dragged from the venture folder to the desktop trash can. In October, confronted with dwindling PC demand and lackluster datacenter revenues, Intel stated it will lay off a “significant quantity” of employees and minimize spending by roughly $10 billion yearly by 2025.
And on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos final week, Gelsinger warned of a semiconductor downturn and alluded to extra cancellations. Talking with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, he stated whereas Intel would transfer ahead with its semiconductor fab venture in Germany, plans for a complicated packaging facility in Italy have been something however closing.

Authorities subsidies have been a sticking level for Intel as rising rates of interest have pushed up the price of its Intel Foundry Companies construct out. Since saying a pair of modern foundries at its Arizona campus in 2021, the price to construct the services has elevated 50 p.c. The skyrocketing capex expenditures drove Intel to hunt assist from non-public fairness.
In the meantime, Intel, going through related headwinds in Europe, is reportedly at odds with the German authorities over subsidies for a mega-fab in Magdeburg, Germany. Chipzilla now expects the venture will value simply shy of $22 billion and is angling for extra subsidies. ®