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Tiny Bubbles Key to Cooling Crazy Hot CPUs 238

Smaz writes "With future CPUs expected to generate as much as four times the heat of today's processors, wicking away that heat remains one of the biggest engineering hurdles in the biz. Researchers at Purdue have developed a pumpless liquid-cooling system that removes nearly six times more heat than existing systems. The trick, it seems, is in the tiny bubbles. From the Science Blog."
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Tiny Bubbles Key to Cooling Crazy Hot CPUs

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  • Pumpless circulation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stanmann ( 602645 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:08PM (#5729529) Journal
    I thought that with a properly pressurized closed system that convection and boiling would keep things cool enough. I know this isn't the first silent system, I'm just curious what special benefit the "tiny bubbles" and microchannels provide... unless we are going to another proprietary IBM standard bus.
    • by PerlGuru ( 115222 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:34PM (#5729773) Homepage
      The benefit of "tiny bubbles" is the bubbles or transfering latent heat of vaporization into the channel (the energy required to boil the fluid), these bubbles also cause mixing of the fluid in the channel.

      Two terms to look up if your interested in this aspect of Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow would be subnucleate boiling and the departure from it. There is a balance between the amount of boiling and the amount of heat transfer. Not enough and you don't get many benifits... too much and the large bubbles that form on the channel walls effectively create a steam void that has a much higher specific heat then the fluid used for cooling... basically it is acting as an insulator preventing heat transfer into the fluid in the channel... a very bad thing [tm]. That is where departure from nucleate boiling comes in (this being the good thing) departure being where it starts getting bad very quickly.

      Think pot of water for spaghetti before the water really starts boiling... Oh, and I apologize for my horendous spelling but you don't have to spell to run a nuclear reactor.
      • Oh, and I apologize for my horendous spelling but you don't have to spell to run a nuclear reactor.

        Note found at Chernobyl:
        seam to haveing seeris probum with retacter. dun't sart teests

      • by Tim Doran ( 910 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:18PM (#5730105)
        Oh, and I apologize for my horendous spelling but you don't have to spell to run a nuclear reactor.

        Very true, Homer. Very true.
      • by nolife ( 233813 )
        In laymans terms...

        Cooling ability of water alone is good.
        Cooling ability of water with slight boiling is really good.
        Cooling ability of steam is really bad (3 Mile Island comes to mind among other things).

        Very fine line...
        The trick is controlling the amount of boiling so that the steam collapses when it is stripped away from pipe surface.

        If not.. I hope they have analyzed for the hot channel effect or even worse, flow reversal!!

        I too was in nuclear power, and can't spell either
      • Oh, and I apologize for my horendous spelling but you don't have to spell to run a nuclear reactor.


        Does anyone else find this alarming?
    • Can anyone explain why mercury isn't a good solution?

      It's highly conductive, liquid, and has a much larger heat capacity than water. Sure it's a poison, but this is a closed system. No leakage. So why not inject liquid mercury into these micro-channels instead of water?
  • yeah (Score:3, Funny)

    by bananaape ( 542919 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:08PM (#5729531)
    This is also why beer is good.
    • Re:yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:37PM (#5729799)
      Bong makers are aware of this fact as well. Putting a bit of cloth/gause over the pipe at the bottom will make the air flow into lots of smaller bubbles, rather than a few large ones. Most surface area, more cooling.

      I'd love to submit an "Ask Slashdot" article on the making of bongs. I'm sure we'd see quite a few novel ideas from the MacGyver Smokers [] out there...

  • Cavitation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:08PM (#5729534) Journal
    It will be interesting to see if the shock waves from the cavitation (the sudden formation of the tiny bubbles) affects the operation of the chip or erodes the surface, limiting the life.
    • Re:Cavitation? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:13PM (#5729586)
      The sound waves from hard disks and power supply fans surely already make more vibration on the CPU than this would
      • Re:Cavitation? (Score:5, Informative)

        by br0ck ( 237309 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:21PM (#5729653)
        Cavitation has nothing to do with vibration. The sudden changes in pressure in the liquid deform or destroy the material. I've seen better links, but try this article [] for more information about the complexities in measuring and predicting cavitation caused by bubbles.
      • Re:Cavitation? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Guignol ( 159087 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:31PM (#5729744)
        What your parent talks about is cavitation, the vibration you talk about is also a problem, but it has nothing to do with cavitation.
        What your parent reffered to was the formation of very tiny bubbles that quickly collapse and release microjets which are very damaging to surrounding surfaces.
        Those tiny bubles also have the (generaly) unwanted property of always orienting themselves so as to send the microjet against the surface of contact, thus making the problem more severe and less unlikely to happen that it might sound in a first thought.
        Those nasty microjets can do a lot of damage and are the reason why stainless steel helices of boats still get corroded.
        In the case of the proposed cooling system, the surface of the channels might be attacked by the released microjets until perforation, since it is so thin.
        • Re:Cavitation? (Score:5, Informative)

          by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:54PM (#5729915) Homepage Journal

          Your explanation of microjets is good.

          The parent post makes the mistake of identifying bubble formation with the cavitation damage, where as you point out, it is the bubble collapse that is the dangerous part.

          Another important thing to note is that bubble collapse is more of a problem when there is a large disparity between the bubble pressure and the ambient liquid pressure. Lots of liquids, like beer, sustain CO_2 bubbles nicely for lengths of time, without the beer glasses sustaining lots of chipping damage from microjets. The pressure of the gases in beer bubbles can be higher than atmospheric pressure.

          Under the ocean, however, where props rotate at high speed, the bubbles that are created have little more than water vapor in them (that's what cavitation is all about - causing the water pressure to drop below its vapor pressure). Those bubbles are highly unstable and short-lived.

          • The parent post makes the mistake of identifying bubble formation with the cavitation damage, where as you point out, it is the bubble collapse that is the dangerous part.

            Bubbles forming on a hot spot in a liquid that is significantly below its boiling point collapse in place. The expansion gives them a large cooling surface an allows the vapor to suddenly cool below the boiling point and recondense. It isn't until the liquid is superheating near the bubble formation site that the bubble continues to ex
    • Isn't the shock strength from cavitation proportional to r^3 of the bubble, or something like that? I would think that with these tiny bubbles the shocks would be so weak that they would dissipate so quickly that no harm could be done...
      • Re:Cavitation? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by neitzsche ( 520188 )
        The surface area they affect is also very tiny. Basically, you have a lot of tiny bubble doing serious dammage to a lot of very very small surfaces (that make one large surface.)

        Here's my horrible analogy: the starting surface is like a indi race trace - very smooth. After cavitation, the road looks like the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (where the surface area of the potholes is greater than the surface area of flat roadway.)
    • It will be interesting to see if the shock waves from the cavitation (the sudden formation of the tiny bubbles) affects the operation of the chip or erodes the surface, limiting the life.

      No, no! It won't be the shock waves that reduces the life of the chip...rather, it will be the hard radiation from the resulting sonoluminescence and nuclear fusion [] that will undoubtedly occur.
    • Re:Cavitation? (Score:2, Informative)

      by luzrek ( 570886 )
      Cavitation comes from turbulence and is dangerous because the bubbles are unstable. The bubbles form because of the very uneven distribution of energy in turbulent flow (like around a propeller and less so an impeller). They then colapse again (causing damage) when the energy is re-distributed.

      From looking at the article, I don't think that there is any cavitation in these pumps.

  • ... that the music of Don Ho [] would ever yield any practical engineering application.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...will be using the descending liquid flow to turn a generator to provide additional electricity.
  • From this [] article

    Laptop burns boffin's penis
    November 22 2002

    Doctors are warning that laptop computers may inflict a burn even through clothed skin, after the bizarre case of a Swedish scientist who scorched his penis and testicles while writing a report in his armchair.

    The unnamed 50-year-old father of two had balanced the computer on his lap while he wrote the report at home, taking about an hour to do it, according to a letter published in the next issue of the British medical weekly The Lancet.

    The f
  • by Anonymous Coward
    imagining a Lava Lamp mounted to your CPU?
  • Clarification (Score:5, Informative)

    by PseudoThink ( 576121 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:12PM (#5729578)
    The researchers found that the system was 5.7 times better at removing heat than existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems.

    It's misleading to generalize "existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems" to "existing systems", as was done in the discussion header. At least, it made me think article was about a cooling solution six times better than *ALL* existing cooling systems. Of course, this leads one to question how good "existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems" are...
    • I took it to mean heatpipes (though I might be totally off base on that), as used on This []
      And those do work pretty well.
      • No, they mean existing pumpless phase-change systems with stuff like fluorinert. It's not the type of thing you would get from a shop that sells biohazard case badges and windows for your case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:12PM (#5729581)
    you will hard boil an egg rather then fry it on your P12 256bit quad CPU.

    darn, all have to get a new recipe book.
  • Tiny Bubbles
    Running WINE
    Make me happy
    Make my PC feel fine.

    Tiny Bubbles
    Make me warm no longer
    With a feeling that I'm going to cool you
    Till the end of time

    So here's to the Boilermakers
    And here's to Purdue
    But mostly here's to a cooler CPU

    Tiny Bubbles
    Running WINE
    Make me happy
    Make my PC feel fine.

    • Groan (Score:3, Funny)

      I'm only pissed because you posted it first...

      For all the non-Microsoft folks out there:

      Tiny Bubbles,
      Running Xine,
      Make PC happy,
      Make PC fine

      (Cue the large beast swallowing the poster in a Monty-Pythonesque cartoon sequence.)

  • Aero Bar (Score:3, Funny)

    by DJCouchyCouch ( 622482 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:13PM (#5729588)
    Bubbles? Bubbles of nothing?
  • by bushboy ( 112290 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:17PM (#5729622) Homepage
    They mention bubbles in this article - well, it's common knowledge that bubbles in Guinness defy gravity !

    So maybe these chips will be served with a Guinness cooling agent ?

    A 500 year old cooling method can't be wrong !

    I love my chips with Guinness !

    Hic, arrrr
    • Common perhaps, but correct, no. Guiness bubbles do not defy gravity. To quote - "The reason for this optical illusion is the turbulence in the glass after pouring the drink. Dark liquid is flowing down the inside of the glass and rising in the centre giving us this circulation of fluid. It is this dark fluid rippling down the inside of the glass, superimposed on the white froth, that gives the impression that the bubbles are sinking. Look closely and you'll see what I mean. New Scientist have looked into
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:21PM (#5729657) Homepage
    Where does the heat go?

    This seems like a nice technology to remove the heat from the CPU, but what I'm always wondering about is, where will the heat actually be dissipated into the environment? At some point, there has to be a heat exchanger where all this heat collected in the tiny bubbles is passed outside the unit. This is going to take a fair amount of space - one of these days we're going to see ads for heat exchangers that take up less space than the "standard" box available from Intel.

    I'm looking forward to a Beowolf cluster not only performing amazing calculations but also heating the building it's in.

    • The heat will be dissipated into the environment the same way it always has, fans will cool the liquid causing it to condense. Other fans will blow the resulting hot air out into the environment just like they always have and then it's up to your ventilation system and air conditioning to keep the place from turning into an oven.

      Sure you could link up your ventilation system to your PC, but that's just overkill.
      • With the way things are going, maybe it won't be overkill.

        The PC cooling problem has become so ridiculous that some are resorting to using liquid cooling systems to alleviate some of the annoying fan noise modern PCs have. Others are underclocking their processors so they don't need as much fan cooling.

        Chip manufacturers have made great strides in reducing the feature size on chips (down to 130 nm now, with 90nm coming soon), and reducing the operating voltage. Both of these measures greatly increase th
    • or even a way to use the heat to generate electricity, maybe the energy in the heat could be used to power the buildings air con and lights (or maybe find a way to feed that extra leccy into the national grid and get a rebate from the power company).
    • I agree. I have this issue today with two windows and a linux box all run 1ghz+ processors. Add the monitors, broadband modem, hub, and printer. By 2pm, the my office is over 85 degrees if I keep the door closed.

      If I adjust the temp, my co-workers begin to hate me. Who wants to wear a jacket in the summer? What we need is a venting system to get heat away from the source. Imagine 200 PCs running in Arizona in the summer. Half the A/C is being used to offset the PCs.

      If only it could be shipped nort
    • Well, If you use the heat dissipation system in those wifi boxes put out by [], then you could stick em in your floors or walls to heat your house. (As suggested by Bob Cringely []).
      Or you could build a water heater/home server.
  • "The trick, it seems, is in the tiny bubbles"

    Amazing! That's also the trick behind Dr Pepper!!

    Just how do they make them so damn small?
  • by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:23PM (#5729676)

    Now we know why Intel was so anxious to get their anti-overclocking technology working.
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:24PM (#5729684) Homepage Journal

    yeah, had to say it and couldnt find it said with 1 sec search.
  • Tiny Scrubbing Bubbles...
    We keep cooling so you don't have to.....

    Throwback from some bubble advertisement in the 80's.
  • good analysis (Score:2, Informative)

    by ih8apple ( 607271 )
    Here's a good analysis [] on the current state of CPU heat, for those of us who need to be brought up-to-date on the subject to understand the benefits of the new technology...
  • It's quite a cheap and simple system, that I've been using for years. Here's how it works:
    1. Buy some cold beer
    2. Open a bottle
    3. Take a sip, then sit the bottle next to your cpu
    4. Repeat 3, until beer is empty
    5. Repeat 2-4, until beer is gone
    6. Repeat 1-5, until unconscious or broke
  • Laminar Flow layer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skreamer ( 104925 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:26PM (#5729711) Homepage
    It's the same principle used in cooling nuclear reactors - deals with the Laminar Flow layer in fluids. Pretty simple actually. The surface area of the bubbles (must be small or they begin to restrict the flow) is much larger than the surface area of the overall fluid. Sounds weird, but it's true.
    • by mike3411 ( 558976 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:41PM (#5729825) Homepage
      Quite true, I saw an entire show on the history or learning channel or some such (so you know my expertise is unquestionable) on the properties of bubbles. This is also why suds are so important when cleaning things - bubbles = larger surface area, which means a solute (dirt) will be more inclined to dissolve. Makes sense that the same is true for heat.
  • by bryanthompson ( 627923 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:27PM (#5729716) Homepage Journal
    I looked away as I glanced at the first line and read it as "With future CPUs expected to generate as much as four times the heat of the sun..."

    I was going to agree... my t-bird 1.3ghz gets daamn hot. :)
  • There one of the cheapest filter methods out there. The bubbles drive the flow through an uptake tube of an already established siphon between the tank and the filter resivoir.
    The hardware layout would need to be orientation independant for a laptop though.

  • by Gorimek ( 61128 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:29PM (#5729733) Homepage
    The heat a CPU generates is roughly proportional to how much power it consumes. Power costs money. With the computer power consumption fast increasing, and electricity costs going much the same way, at least in Gray California, I suspect this has to start becoming a major buying decicion factor.

    Does anybody have any numbers on current and future power consumption, and what it would cost per year with current or future electricity prices to keep a computer turned on 24/7?
    • ... along the same lines, what happens to the "4x more heat" itself? Looks like they just let it dissipate into the surrounding air. Fantastic, so I get to replace my 120mm CPU fan with a good old fashioned 18" fan just to be able to bear the heat in my workspace. Chipmakers really need to start paying attention to reducing power consumption and heat in the first place.
    • electricity=~$.10 per kilowatt-hour (varies greatly per area, don't flame me)

      $.10/kwh=.0001 cents per watt per hour

      365 * 24 = 8760 hours per year

      8760 * 0.0001 = 87.6 cents per year per watt
  • something wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kEnder242 ( 262421 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:29PM (#5729734)
    As liquid flows through the channels, it is heated by the chip and begins to boil, producing bubbles of vapor. Because the buoyant vapor bubbles are lighter than the liquid, they rise to the top of the tube, where they are cooled by a fan and condensed back into a liquid.
    I see two things that might be a problem

    -The chip needs to be at the boiling point of the liquid, maybe not a problem (freon anyone?).
    -What happens when the CPU isn't pointing up? (e.g. on a motherboard in a standard case) Will it overheat because the bubbles don't "rise"?
    • Just because the CPU isn't pointing up, doesn't mean the cooling system can't point up. It does mean that there will have to be space "above" the CPU socket in the case/on the motherboard for the "cooling tower" in whatever orientation, though. The bigger problem would be people who don't have their computer oriented the way they were intended. I work on my tower on its side. I've seen desktops (as opposed to towers) stood on end to save space.

      Maybe this "tower" could be a cone shape, so that bubbles a
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:31PM (#5729748) Homepage Journal
    So the heat from the CPU creates bubbles in the liquid... Certainly sounds like a Boilermaker to me!
  • Since this relies on gas rising while a pool of dielectric fluid boils, I assume there's some air left in the system, right? So, what about when you have your laptop on an agle, and could this work with a traditional tower? It seems that for whatever application you use it in, the cooling unit would always need to be oriented "up".
  • Picture (Score:5, Informative)

    by m0i ( 192134 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:35PM (#5729777) Homepage
    For those who don't bother to read the article, here's a picture [] of the thing.
    • For those who don't bother to read the article...[snip]

      Translation: 95% of /.

      As for the other 5%:

      2% skimmed it and didn't see the Crazy Hot Heat as promised and gave up on the picture. Here your work was definitely appreciated.

      another 2% understands the Crazy Hot Science Geek lingo and proceeds to write insightful and informative comments on the subject. Here your work goes unappreciated.

      .5% finds enlightenment amongst the Crazy Hotness and that guy's bald spot peeking through his hair.

      The rest trol

    • "For those who don't bother to read the article, here's a picture [] of the thing."

      Man.. imagine how big of screen my laptop would have if the implemented one of those devices!
  • Shouldn't there be some ideas to utilize a similar system coupled with a miniature sterling engine to get some of this energy back... regenerative braking is the only cool idea to come out of the automotive industry in the last couple decades of supposed innovation.
  • by bhny ( 97647 ) <> on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:46PM (#5729855) Homepage
    I thought the whole emphasis on CPUs was changing from higher clock speed to lower power usage, even in servers. Google's number one requirement is low power usage in their servers.

    I'm sure the average PC in the future is going to be using LESS power than today.
    • The current emphasis on low power CPU's isn't an effort to reverse the power consumption trend, merely to slow it down. In most cases, power consumption offsets performance. Historically, designers have almost always favored performance, resulting in power consumption varying roughly with clock speed (P~af^2) squared for the same family of chip. Current efforts are to bring that closer to a linear relationship (P~af). However, even in this "ideal" relationship, faster chips will use more power (and whil

  • by EinarH ( 583836 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:52PM (#5729889) Journal
    Remember reading this article over at The Economist about efforts to cool down future HP CPU's (read: Itanium X) using inkjet heads from HP's printers and plotters to spray cooling fluid directly on the chip's surface, overcoming the bubble problem.
    The article is here [] but unfortunatly it's pay per wiew.

    The article also mentioned that future (within 2005) CPU's will generate five to ten times more heat.
    The feedback mechanism inside this inkjet head included a sensor so the squirt can be directed to the hottest areas. Really cool. No phun intended.

    • The Economist about efforts to cool down future HP CPU's (read: Itanium X) using inkjet heads from HP's printers and plotters to spray cooling fluid directly on the chip's surface, overcoming the bubble problem.

      Let me guess: they'll sell these high-end servers for only $50. The catch is that they'll constantly consume cooling fluid from insanely priced single-use proprietary HP cartridges. What's worse, the server will come only with a half-filled cartridge.

  • by Small Kingdom ( 457347 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:52PM (#5729891) Homepage
    I'm going to hold out until the inevitable integration with the advanced chemistry found in my Scrubbing Bubbles(r) Bathroom Cleaner.

    Then my PC will be heat AND dust free! Less work for Mom!
  • As if 80 watts isn't already enough !! For the vast majority of CPU consumers, 1GHz is more than enough. I wish the CPU manufacturers would focus more on power consumption (which generates heat) and less on raw speed. They are starting to do that, but I would like to see them focus even more on that. I am not looking forward to the day when my computer consumes half the elecricity in my house !
  • by xluap ( 652530 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @02:55PM (#5729918)
    At the moment the pentium 4 at 3.06 is the most power hungry pc processor at 82 watt. So future processors will consumate 320 watts? Imagine an office with 10 of those computers. I think it is time for processors with a better ratio of processing power / electric power. And more efficient optimized software that doesn't waste so much clock cycles.
  • by fritz1968 ( 569074 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:04PM (#5729984)
    Today's computers use fans and heat sinks containing fins to help cool circuitry.

    That's the problem with today's technology. We keep using Fish in our hardware. No wonder the experts predicted that the smaller the channel, the less heat that would be dissipated (paraphrasing). The fish they were using would not be able to fit though the small channels, thus causing the channel to be blocked!
    • Today's computers use fans and heat sinks containing fins to help cool circuitry.
      Mikka Hakkinnen, Linus Torvalds, Kimi Räikkönen, Mika Salo and the others must be very proud.

      I wonder if Mexicans would be so successful in cooling silicon.
  • by jaredcoleman ( 616268 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:05PM (#5729991)
    ...developing a "pumpless" liquid-cooling system that removes nearly six times more heat than existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems...

    Every comparison in the article was with current liquid systems. How much more efficient would this be than the heatsink/fan cooling my Athlon?
  • Solid conductors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:07PM (#5730000) Journal
    I don't see why there is so much effort on dispersing heat... It seems that the only reason systems have a fan is that it's the cheapest cooling method.

    Want silent cooling??? Design a case where the healt-sink goes from the processor, to the outer-shell of the case... Presto, no more restricted airflow, and no fans at all.

    Convection works well when there is a large surface area (unlike current CPU heatsinks), and there is little impediment to airflow (unlike current systems).

    In fact, you could have some incredibly hot systems if you designed a case with a large, EXTERNAL, healtsink, mounted so the top is flush with the case. It could look like a grill on the top of your case instead of a flat piece of metal, but be connected to the CPU with copper/aluminum.

    I've always been wondering why nobody designs computers that conduct the CPU heat outside the case. Anybody have some ideas?
  • I'll bet Don HO is psyched.
  • by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:07PM (#5730011)
    This explains why the Star Trek control panels are always exploding. It's not that they routed main power through a switch on the panel, it's that the fancy-assed graphical display needed a terahertz-class processor to render the warp field display in real-time. That last Romulan disruptor blast just dislodged the heatsink for a few milliseconds and {poof}.
  • Seriously though, this is really a good idea. I almost said it was cool, but, I mean, duh, right?
  • Heat sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Proc6 ( 518858 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:12PM (#5730045)
    The problem with all these cooling solutions is that unless the final output for the heat is "outside", it's doing nothing but making MY ROOM hotter and hotter. Put an Athlon and a 21" CRT in a room and close the door. It seriously sucks. Having to sit in a sauna to send an email is really ignorant. I dont know what the answer is, but generating 4 times more heat isn't it. I think PC's need the equivalent of a dryer vent you can hook up to suck the hot air outside.
  • From the article: ...have solved both of these potential engineering hurdles, developing a "pumpless" liquid-cooling system that removes nearly six times more heat than existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems

    And, if I may ask, what is the performance of existing miniature pumpless liquid-cooling systems. I have not seen any in the store lately. Do they perform as well as pump-driven systems (probably not)? Do they perform on par even with fans (maybe not)?

  • OK thi is just a thought off the top of my head so feel free to shut me up if I talking rubbish. Instead of making CPU's faster why not start looking at ways of creating an SMP system which can handel normal applications thorough something like branch prediction or read-ahead but on a large scale?

    I would think that a decent chipset which good inter CPU communication could at least rival say 350% of the same system in a single CPU config. Also wouldn't this just dispearse the heat more?

    Then again I could b
  • Heat pipes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @03:43PM (#5730351) Journal
    That's what they are. Pretty standard effect. I'm guessing (from a scan of the article) that they've managed some magic concerning the microchannel interface, but the meat of the "discovery" seems to have been lost in favor of the amazing new heat-pipe phenomenon, which has only been around for thirty years.

    Here's an example: .html
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The trouble with CPU manufacturers is that they are continuously increasing clockspeed to increase performance. All modern processors use CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology. CMOS is great in that the only time it uses substantial power is when the transistors are switched. Unfortunately, the higher the clockspeed, the more often transistors are switched, and the more power is consumed.

    New architectures are needed that can do a ton of work per clock cycle. Then, clockspeeds can be r
  • by destiney ( 149922 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @04:16PM (#5730655) Homepage

    The articles states:

    Innovative cooling systems will be needed in about three years for personal computers expected to contain microprocessor chips that will generate four times more heat than chips in current computers. Whereas current high-performance chips generate about 75 watts per square centimeter, chips in the near future will generate more than 300 watts per square centimeter, Mudawar said.

    Who can afford the electric bill to run such machines in their homes? I already stress over the few rooms in my house where I use 100 watt light bulbs instead of 60 or 75 watt bulbs. Can you imagine hooking up your shiney new PC in 2006, then getting an $800 electric bill the next month? Man..

    I guess powering down your system when not in use will become more common.
  • by ( 631162 ) on Monday April 14, 2003 @08:14PM (#5732475) Homepage
    Four times the heat of today's proc's??? Let's see 84 watts (P4 3.06GHz) X 4 == 336 watts?!? No friggin way, there is no way anyone is going to pay for the costs of running a machine like this... this doesn't even take into consideration the rest of the system!

    This is the kind of thing that just outrages me, I think what should be perfected are efforts like the VIA CPU's or the Crusoe (ugh). This brute force mentality in CPU's and Video cards is getting ridiculous. Things need to change in a big way, and I hope that they start soon because I'm not buying or running a 1500 watt powersupply 24/7. I don't care how many FPS it can push in Quake III, hell California alone would be under blackout conditions forever if we start seeing CPU's like this.

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.