GIGA secures approval for new data centre with a secret history

GIGA Data Centers LLC has secured approval and tax incentives for a new facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that will provide the closest proximity to the world’s fastest supercomputer.

And, adding another twist to the tale, the new centre will be housed in an existing 30,000 square foot facility – to be retrofitted by GIGA – that was once used by the Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex to store classified documents; including archives of the Manhattan Project.

GIGA president and CEO Jake Ring said: “With our new facility, companies of all sizes will finally have access to high-performance compute capabilities at affordable prices.”


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The centre is located near Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the supercomputers and databases it operates. These include Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, and the 140 research and commercial networks supported through ESnet, the Department of Energy’s dedicated science network.

GIGA said the data centre will offer “the lowest-latency solution for companies seeking access to this elite level of scientific compute service, and provide an ultra-high efficiency, forward-looking facility that will reduce colocation costs, compared to standard data centres using raised-floor cooling”.

GIGA has built its business model around creating “affordable, multi-tenant colocation facilities with unprecedented energy efficiency” and also operates the CLT-1 Data Center supporting the Charlotte, NC metro area.

Once converted, the property will scale to support 20MW of capacity or more, positioning for such industry sectors as HPC and storage in AI, healthcare, manufacturing, and others.

Built to Tier III Uptime Institute specifications, the first phase will supply 4MW of critical power in a 2N configuration with an industry-leading guaranteed maximum Power Use Efficiency (PUE) rating of 1.15. The data centre uses 95% less water than a typical facility using chilled-water and cooling towers, and reduces operating power consumption by almost 80%.

The Oak Ridge facility has access to multiple fibre-optic carriers as well as substations fed by the TVA with green and renewable electricity.

It will also use an updated version of WhindChill Enclosure, GIGA’s energy-efficiency solution providing hot/cold aisle isolation and passive cooling to lower operating costs, with flexible rack-power densities from 4 to 50 kilowatts per rack cabinet.

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