Microsoft is exploring specialized liquids for cooling its AI chips, amid local water supply concerns

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is potentially looking into a new technique that will allow it to use a “specialized liquid” to cool its AI chips.
  • The company unveiled an advanced AI chip in November dubbed Maia 100 chip, which ships with a cold plate with cool water tucked beneath it to prevent it from frying.
  • This is amid local water supply concerns, as the technology consumes up to one water bottle for cooling per query.

Generative AI is probably one of the most discussed topics this year across the board in the tech world. Many organizations have shifted focus to the tech in the past few months, with Microsoft at the forefront after its multi-billion dollar investment, which extended its partnership with OpenAI.

Admittedly, Microsoft has achieved incredible milestones by integrating AI across most of its products and services. Barely a month after the company debuted Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) Bing crossed 100 million daily active users

While all this is impressive, running an AI-powered chatbot is no easy feat. We already know OpenAI spends up to $700,000 on a daily basis to keep ChatGPT running. Not forgetting the local water supply concerns, as Copilot and ChatGPT consume an entire water bottle for cooling per query

Microsoft addresses local water supply concerns with specialized liquids for cooling its AI chips

Microsoft Logo Building Redmond

(Image credit: Windows Central)

With this in mind, both OpenAI and Microsoft have heavily invested in fans as well as a steady water supply to ensure that operations run seamlessly. Without an adequate supply of water and fans, the AI chips will simply fry due to the enormous amount of heat produced throughout the entire process.

This is both a daunting and expensive venture, which prevents companies like Microsoft from realizing the full potential of AI. According to a spot by Bloomberg, Microsoft is well on its way to pulling itself out from under this hazardous rug. While making its debut in advanced chip making for AI last month, the company unveiled its brand new Maia 100 chip.

READ MORE: Microsoft enters the chip game with its own Arm processors for AI and computing workloads

The Maia 100 chip is designed to take on NVIDIA’s top-of-the-line products. And unlike previous chips used in AI ventures, Microsoft’s flagship AI chip ships with a cold plate. As the name suggests, it’s designed to ensure that the semiconductor remains cool at all times. The cold plate features a cold fluid tucked at the bottom of the chip to prevent it from overheating.

Per Bloomberg’s report, this could just be the starting point, as Microsoft could potentially explore full immersion cooling if everything goes according to plan. The servers will essentially be immersed in a “specialized liquid” to ensure that operations run smoothly without any fear that the chips might overheat.

Do you think the specialized liquid approach for cooling AI chips is a permanent solution for Microsoft? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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