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Intel Makes Key Investments to Advance Data Center Sustainability

New $700 million mega lab and the industry’s first open intellectual property immersion liquid cooling solution to focus on innovative energy-efficient solutions.

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Editor's note: April 28, 2023 – As of part of Intel’s cost reduction efforts outlined in Q3 2022, Intel is no longer constructing a new building in Oregon for the research and development lab. The company will continue to invest and advance its data center product strategy in collaboration with the broader Hillsboro business community. Intel remains committed to innovation throughout its operations as it reduces costs and increases efficiencies.

What’s New: Today, Intel announced two new investments in its continuing efforts to create more sustainable data center technology solutions. First, Intel unveiled plans to invest more than $700 million for a 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the art research and development mega lab focused on innovative data center technologies and addressing areas such as heating, cooling and water usage. Additionally, Intel introduced the technology industry’s first open intellectual property (open IP) immersion liquid cooling solution and reference design. With the initial design proof of concept initiated in Taiwan, Intel aims to simplify and accelerate the implementation of immersion liquid cooling solutions throughout the ecosystem globally. 

“Intel’s dedication to its global partnerships is evident with these announcements today. The future of the data center and data center design is based on innovative and sustainable technologies and practices, and I’m proud of the work we’re doing every day to help make a sustainable future a reality.”

–Sandra L. Rivera, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and AI Group

What It Means: These two investments represent Intel’s continued efforts to bring together the technology ecosystem to address critical global environmental issues.

The new mega lab will be focused on areas such as immersion cooling, water usage effectiveness and heat recapture and reuse. Construction on the lab will begin this year at the Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro, Oregon, with opening expected in late 2023. Additionally, the lab will qualify, test and enable Intel’s portfolio of data center products including Intel® Xeon®, Intel® Optane™, network interfaces and switch gear, Intel® Agilex™ FPGAs, Xe architecture, Habana accelerators and future products under development. The lab will also host an advanced technology showcase for customers and partners to observe and test Intel products in a variety of data center environments in the lab, in an effort to accelerate adoption of these new technologies throughout the ecosystem. 

The industry’s first open IP data center immersion liquid cooling solution and reference design is an open, easy-to-deploy and easily scalable total cooling solution. It will allow partners to accelerate the introduction of Intel solutions in response to the trend of increasing data center power density to enhance operational efficiency. The initial solution and design proof of concept will be completed in partnership with Intel Taiwan and across the Taiwanese ecosystem in a phased approach, with plans to scale out globally. Intel will continue to work with partners to develop and validate related solutions.   

Why It Matters:  Data centers represent approximately 1% of the global electricity demand and account for about 0.3% of global carbon emissions1. Investing in standardizing cooling technologies and R&D for future innovations strengthens Intel’s commitment to more sustainable technology solutions. Research shows that immersion cooling with energy reuse could reduce carbon emissions by 45% compared to traditional data center usage2.

These efforts build on Intel’s previously announced commitment to working with customers and industry partners to create more sustainable technology solutions. The research and development for these emerging technologies have the power to fundamentally change the way data centers are built and operated.

More Context: Intel Commits to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across its Operations