With this pump, we are able to integrate the entire cooling system right onto a chip
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a reliable and efficient cooling device that could fit on a computer chip. The tiny device creates an air jet at the chip's surface through an electrical charge, an advance that could be invaluable as heating becomes an increasing problem with smaller and denser chips. "With this pump, we are able to integrate the entire cooling system right onto a chip," said Alexander Mamishev, associate professor of electrical engineering at Washington. "That allows for cooling in applications and spaces where it just wasn't realistic to do before." The idea is not new, but the researchers' prototype is the first working device created using the method. Using an electrical field, the device can propel air at speeds previously attainable only with conventional blowers. In testing, the pump significantly cooled a heated surface using just 0.6 watts of power. The prototype features an emitter with a tip radius of around 1 micron, which creates air ions that are propelled within an electric field to the surface of a collector. While traveling to the collector, the ions create a stream of air that blows over the chip's surface, whisking away the heat. The pump could be an improvement over cooling systems that circulate liquids over the chip's surface. While the technology is promising, the pump is still very complex, and it remains uncertain which materials will be best to build such high-performance and durable systems.
Full Article: http://uwnews.washington.edu/ni/article ... leID=26374