What is ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid EXchange)? - Definition from WhatIs.com


ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid EXchange)

Part of the Hardware glossary:

What is ECOPhlex?

ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid EXchange) is an efficient and environmentally-friendly computer component cooling technology.

Cray, the supercomputer company, developed ECOphlex. According to the company's Web site, ECOphlex will enable multi-petaflop high-performance computing (HPC) systems that are more energy-efficient than has ever been possible before. ECOphlex uses one of two different techniques: a vertical air cooling system or a liquid evaporative variation on phase-change cooling.  Phase-change cooling uses the same principles as cooling systems in conventional refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners. The phase-change coils used for ECOphlex are said to be 10 times as efficient as a water coil of a similar size. According to many experts, data center inefficiency is the main problem holding back supercomputer development.

Conventional cooling systems exhaust heated air, which then has to be cooled to maintain an acceptable ambient temperature. According to Cray CTO Steve Scott, for a petascale computer, the Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC) units required to cool the exhaust on a conventional system might require more space in the datacenter than the computer equipment itself.  In contrast, ECOphlex is room-air neutral. This means that air leaving the system is about the same temperature as air entering it.

Cray XT5 systems began shipping with ECOphlex capability in late 2008.

Learn More About IT:
> This video from Cray shows ECOphlex in use in a data center.
> HPCWire interviews Cray CTO Steve Scott about the features of ECOphlex.
> Cray describes ECOphlex in greater detail in this white paper. (PDF)
> Datacenterknowledge.com reports on ECOphlex.
> This article from ChannelRegister.co.uk discusses data center inefficiency.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • laser

    - A laser is a coherent and focused beam of photons; coherent, in this context, means that it is all one wavelength, unlike ordinary light which showers on us in many wavelengths. The acronym laser s... (WhatIs.com)

  • hardware virtualization

    - Hardware virtualization is the abstraction of computing resources from the software that uses those resources. Today, hardware virtualization is often called server virtualization or, simply, virtu... (SearchVMware.com)

  • robotics

    - Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. (WhatIs.com)


  • Hardware

    - Terms related to computer hardware, including definitions about cables, connectors and power supply units and words and phrases about computing peripheral devices including the keyboard, mouse, au...

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid EXchange)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.