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China makes steps towards world’s first commercial underwater data centre

Written by Mon 27 Nov 2023

Underwater data centre company, Beijing Highlander, has successfully installed a core data module on the seabed off Hainan Island in China, marking a step towards the world’s first commercial data centre.

China Central Television reported the core data module weighs 1,300 metric tons and is submerged 30 metres underwater.

The system can process more than 4 million high-definition images in 30 seconds. This is a capacity equivalent to 60,000 traditional computers working simultaneously.

The underwater facility uses seawater to cool down the heat during its operation, saving energy, freshwater, and land resources.

Once fully operational, the underwater data centre is anticipated to save 68,000sqm of land. It is also projected to conserve 122 million KWh of electricity and 105,000 tons of freshwater annually.

The underwater facility assures a dust-free and oxygen-free environment, enhancing protection for electronic components, and minimising malfunctions. The facility has a design lifespan of 25 years.

China Daily reported concerns about the facility being prone to natural disasters, but did not disclose the source of these worries.

The performance of data modules deployed at Hainan proved normal and stable during Typhoon Talim in July. This alleviated concerns regarding the facility’s susceptibility to natural disasters.

In 2021, Beijing Highlander initially announced it will build the first commercial underwater data centre following the successful deployment and retrieval of a prototype. The company said the facility will comprise 100 separate vessels and be operated by ISP Beijing Sinnet after construction.

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Written by Mon 27 Nov 2023

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