High-end PC components consume a lot of power, which results in heat that must be dissipated before it becomes too late. With the new Intel Core 14 CPUs and RTX 4090 GPUs, we can easily exceed 300W of consumption in both the CPU and GPU. Cooling such a system requires high-end air coolers or liquid cooling, and sometimes even that is not enough. Now, a company named HZO has demonstrated their innovative waterproof coating, which will allow PC hardware to be submerged in water without the risk of electrocution, making it a viable solution.
With each new generation of hardware comes faster and more efficient components. For many people, the focus is solely on the power consumption of the component itself. However, it is essential to consider the performance-to-watt ratio, which is why GPUs like the RTX 4090 are more efficient despite consuming 350W or more. Even if we purchase mid-range components like an i5 14600K and an RX 6700, we still need to cool 200W in the CPU and GPU.
HZO uses a waterproof coating that allows hardware to be submerged in water
This may not be a significant issue for a desktop computer, but imagine servers, data centers, or supercomputers, with thousands of CPUs and GPUs working simultaneously, generating enormous amounts of heat. This is why countries like China are planning to have an underwater data center, with facilities built around it and covering an area of 68,000 square meters, equivalent to 10 soccer fields. China expects to save 122 million kWh of electricity and 105,000 tons of fresh water per year.
Recognizing the advantages of cooling PC hardware with water, HZO has developed a way to achieve this safely. HZO has demonstrated its waterproof coating using parylene with thin films applied through CVD deposition. This material effectively covers electronic devices (including PCBs) and was successfully demonstrated at CES 2024 using a Raspberry Pi 4.
The company will only offer waterproof coating services to large companies like Dell
HZO showed that it was possible to submerge the Raspberry Pi in water thanks to this parylene coating. To achieve this, they heated the precursor material until it became gas and then heated the gas to form reactive monomers. In a deposition chamber at near-ambient temperature, these monomers were deposited, forming a polymer layer. These polymer layers have a thickness of 2 to 25 microns and can be used at room temperature, protecting electronic components from water.
They also demonstrated how it was possible to use USB-C cables and a microHDMI cable to provide a display signal while also submerged in water. They coated these cables with the same parylene used on the Raspberry Pi. For now, HZO will work only with companies, such as Dell or Nike, to offer coating services. Individual users cannot currently purchase this waterproof coating to submerge their PCs and hardware underwater, but this may change in the future.
The discovery of a new waterproof coating for PC hardware raises the question of whether we will see computers submerged in water in the future.