Initial phase of world’s first commercial undersea data center maintains stable operation

January 19, 2024
Updated 2024/01/19 at 6:45 AM
3 Min Read

The first phase of the world’s first commercial undersea data center has maintained stable operation since it was completed in Lingshui Li Autonomous County, south China’s Hainan Province on Dec. 31, 2023.

A data center module weighing 1,300 tonnes for the undersea data center was previously installed successfully on the seabed at a depth of 35 meters off the shores of the county.


File photo shows a module of the undersea data center in Lingshui Li Autonomous County, south China’s Hainan Province.

The undersea facility uses seawater to cool down the heat during its operation, saving energy, freshwater and land resources, said Pu Ding, general manager of the center’s Hainan demonstration development project.

Pu added that the center also has the advantage of higher computing power density and strong computing power.

The sealed data center module ensures a dust-free and oxygen-free environment, providing further protection for electronic components and reducing the occurrence of malfunctions, according to Pu.

“The first batch of modules of the undersea data center was launched in December 2022. They are currently running stably. Compared with servers of the same volume, servers in the modules achieve an overall energy efficiency improvement of 40 to 60 percent, with the advantages of strong computing capability, low energy consumption, high security and low latency,” Pu said.

The undersea data center will feature 100 modules. Compared to a traditional land-based data center of the same scale, once fully operational, it’s expected to save 122 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 68,000 square meters of land, and 105,000 tonnes of freshwater per year.

Pu said that the modules have a design lifespan of 25 years. “In the R&D and design process of the undersea data center, we fully considered the external impacts under extreme conditions, such as typhoons and earthquakes, and rolled out corresponding contingency plans,” Pu said.

“A data center module operates as a ‘supercomputer.’ It can process over 4 million high-definition photos in a mere 30 seconds, a capacity equivalent to 60,000 traditional computers,” said Li Jiawen, deputy general manager of Shenzhen HiCloud Data Center Technology Co., Ltd., the technical provider of the undersea data project.

“The construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) has created a huge demand for offshore data centers. The undersea data center can provide support for the development of the digital economy, and will facilitate the safe and orderly cross-border data flow in the FTP,” said Su Yang, executive director of Shenzhen HiCloud Data Center Technology Co., Ltd.

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