With the increase in compute density making air cooling less and less feasible, liquid cooling is going mainstream. For data centers. Overclockers have been doing it for years.
For the most part, liquid cooling involves piping in cooled water to a heat sink attached to the CPU. The water then cools the heat sink, and is pumped away to be circulated and cooled down.
But there are some cases where immersion is used. That is where the entire motherboard is submerged in a nonvolatile liquid. Immersion is used in only the most extreme of cases, with the highest compute density and performance. For a variety of reasons, it isn’t widely used.
One startup that hopes to change that showed its wares at the Open Compute Project Summit 2019, which ran last week in San Jose. The OCP has a special project called Advanced Cooling Solutions to promote liquid cooling and other advanced cooling approaches.