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China marks key step in underwater commercial data center

By Xu Zhesheng | | Updated: 2023-11-25 14:35
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A core data module weighing 1,300 metric tons was installed successfully on the seabed off Hainan island on Friday, making an important step in the building of the world's first commercial data center based on the sea floor.

According to China Central Television, the module can process more than 4 million high-definition images within 30 seconds, a capacity equivalent to 60,000 traditional computers working simultaneously.

Compared to land-based data centers, 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 center is expected to save 68,000 square meters of land, equivalent to nearly 10 standard soccer fields, and save 122 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 105,000 tons of freshwater per year.

Moreover, the sea-based facility ensures a dust-free and oxygen-free environment, providing further protection for electronic components and reducing the occurrence of malfunctions.

The module installed on Friday, more than 30 meters underwater, has a design lifespan of 25 years.

As for concerns that such facility might be prone to natural disasters such as typhoon, the performance of data modules previously deployed at the same location proved normal and stable during Typhoon Talim in July.

Nine companies including China Telecom have signed contracts and cooperated with the undersea data project.

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