Data Center Design Taps into Digital Twins

Cadence acquires Future Facilities, taking aim at data center efficiency.

On July 15, design software developer Cadence announced it has acquired Future Facilities, a company that applies digital twins to electronics cooling analysis and energy performance optimization for data centers.

Cadence did not disclose the terms of the acquisition, but the developer says the deal will support the company’s strategy of “Intelligent System Design” by broadening its multiphysics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) portfolio.

Future Facilities provides Cadence with an electronics thermal solution to augment Cadence’s Celsius Thermal Solver, as well as an electronics cooling simulation technology that optimizes data center performance and cooling. The technology virtualizes a data center’s ecosystem, creating a 3D digital twin, which allows operators to predict, visualize and quantify the impact of any data center changes.

The Growing Concern of Data Center Efficiency

Data centers use about 3 percent of the world’s energy every year. The industry is beginning to take note of its exceptional power usage, with calls for higher efficiency beginning to ring out.

The problem was made real for Texas residents earlier this month, when grid operator ERCOT asked high-energy users to power down to help prevent blackouts during a heatwave. Cryptocurrency mining, including industrial mining, was temporarily limited in the state.

“The global data center market is driving the digital world and is immense with investments upwards of $200 billion a year,” said Tom Beckley, senior vice president and general manager of the Custom IC & PCB Group at Cadence, in a company press release. “The acquisition of Future Facilities boosts our Fidelity CFD solution with digital twin solutions, including electronics cooling and energy management that helps businesses maximize capacity, improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and mitigate critical infrastructure risk.”

Future Facilities uses its CFD technology alongside data center infrastructure management tools and power and cooling modules to increase data center uptime and capacity utilization. The goal is to improve data center power usage effectiveness (PUE) by eliminating redundant power consumption. Future Facilities’ data center experience includes serving hyperscale, enterprise data centers, managed services and colocation providers such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Digital Realty, Equinix and Kao Data.

“Using advanced CFD brings tremendous benefits when analyzing thermal efficiencies in the data center,” said Hassan Moezzi, founder and CEO of Future Facilities, in the release. “We are excited to join the Cadence team and look forward to combining our data center and electronics technology solutions with Cadence’s expertise in Intelligent System Design to further advance performance, sustainability and energy efficiency from chip design to all elements of the data center right up to the chillers that are critical components in data center design and operations.”