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Chip Cooling with Micro-Pumps

There is no doubt that keeping processors and GPU’s cool is one of the biggest challenges to increased speed and power. Purdue University researchers have developed “micro-pumps” that could change the nature of chip cooling. Using the technology, chip manufacturers could integrate these micro-pumps with the chip itelf, leading to better cooling and simpler, quieter installations.

They have developed a system where water filled micro-channels are etched onto the chip itself. The channels are covered with a series of hundreds of electrodes, electronic devices that receive varying voltage pulses in such a way that a traveling electric field is created in each channel. The traveling field creates ions, or electrically charged atoms and molecules, which are dragged along by the moving field.

While some may think that cooling solutions are boring, those that overclock know the importance that cooling can play. The cooler a chip can be kept, the better the performance that can be gotten from it. So rather than installing monstrous heatsinks or liquid cooling systems with external radiators, you would be able to just drop the processor in and use it. The lack of noise that would be generated by such a device would also be a boon for use in media center PC’s, where the lack of annoying background noise is a huge plus. More information can be found on Purdue’s website.

Posted by Jeff

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