In severe cases this could lead to injury and it may even reduce male fertility. The chip giant has now patented an improved technology to automatically throttle back the power of your notebook if it's getting too hot:
Since heating is uneven inside a laptop, with hot spots occurring near power-hungry components, ordinary thermometers are an unreliable way to determine whether someone is risking a scorched lap. Instead, Intel reckons a simple light sensor could provide a much better early warning system.
The inside skin of a laptop is coated with a thermochromic material (one that changes colour in response to temperature). A lamp inside the chassis then continually illuminates this material and a sensor measures the colour of the reflected light – from cold green to warm red.
This provides a temperature reading for the part in direct contact with the user's lap. The sensor closely monitors any change and, when it starts getting too warm, software activates a fan to cool things down. At a higher temperature threshold the processing speed of the computer's main chip is also throttled back to reduce heating.