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AQ Compute's AI-ready data centre launches in Norway
Thu, 29th Feb 2024

AQ Compute, a provider of sustainable colocation data centres, has announced that its inaugural AI-ready colocation data centre, AQ-OSL1, is now operational in Hnefoss, near Oslo, Norway. This sophisticated facility further aligns AQ Compute's commitment to drive decarbonization within the IT sector whilst facilitating AI computing in Europe. AQ-OSL1, designed to comfortably accommodate AI workloads and offer colocation services, will act as the backbone for NexGen Cloud's operations, a sustainable GPU Cloud and Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider and AQ Compute's inaugural tenant. Managed correctly, AQ-OSL1 could fundamentally service and power European AI infrastructure.

Both developing and established data centres are consuming vast amounts of electricity worldwide. As AI continues its rapid global deployment, this problematic issue is expected to exacerbate. The International Energy Agency (IEA) indicated that data centre electricity consumption reaches over 1% of global volumes. This equates to approximately 48.6 TWh and thus emits as much CO2 as the commercial airline industry. Data centre industry energy consumption could rise from 85.4TWh to 134.0 TWh by 2027, driven predominantly by AI's high power requirements. By 2030, the information and communications technology industry's annual electricity demand could grow to 8,000 TWh, representing 20.9% of the projected total electricity demand.

To service NexGen Cloud's AI workloads, AQ Compute has innovated a suite of ultra-high-density cooling techniques, heat capture through RDHX and direct liquid cooling to become AI-ready. They aim to increase the facilities' operating temperature, decrease cooling costs and water consumption, whilst also supporting the clients' sustainability goals and enabling the deployment and expansion of AI applications. NexGen Cloud can improve their energy efficiency by effectively using water to cool the server, thus wasting almost no water. This collaboration allows the projected $1 billion European AI supercloud to be net zero, including 20,000 NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs and providing unfettered enterprise access to one of the world's most powerful GPU-accelerated platforms.

"We are proud to set an industry standard for AI-ready data centres by providing a modular and low-carbon design powered by clean energy. We will continue to lead the way to a highly efficient and environmentally sustainable data centre industry and enable our clients to reduce their carbon footprint and implement the technologies of the future," stated Henry Daunert, CEO of AQ Compute.

AQ-OSL1's location in Hnefoss simultaneously offers accessibility and high-power availability with Norway's expanding network connections moving the nation to the centre of European data traffic. The nation's ready access to renewable power sources and cool climate positions it as an ideal location for data centres. Fuelled by the availability of clean energy, low electricity prices and naturally cold cooling water, large data centre builds in the country can significantly reduce their carbon footprint as 98% of power is generated from renewable sources.

NexGen Cloud will commence its operations with a 6MW IT capacity, which can be subsequently expanded to 14MW IT. Excess heat within this state-of-the-art data centre will be repurposed for the facility, equipment and neighbouring plot. The AI market is likely to experience marked growth over the next two years, making it critical to decarbonize as much of the data generated as possible. "By partnering with AQ Compute and housing the data created within our AI Supercloud in their data centre in Norway, which is powered by renewable energy and cooled with water, we are not just innovating technologically, we are pioneering a sustainable shift in the way AI data is stored," remarked Chris Starkey, CEO of NexGen Cloud.