Researchers have presented a new cooling technology which has lots of potential for future computers:
he Purdue University researchers, in work funded by Intel Corp., have shown that the technology increased the "heat-transfer coefficient," which describes the cooling rate, by as much as 250 percent.
"Other experimental cooling-enhancement approaches might give you a 40 percent or a 50 percent improvement," said Suresh Garimella, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. "A 250 percent improvement is quite unusual."
When used in combination with a conventional fan, the experimental device enhanced the fan's effectiveness by increasing airflow to the surface of a mock computer chip. The new technology could help engineers design thinner laptop computers that run cooler than today's machines.
Findings are detailed in a research paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Physics and is tentatively scheduled to appear in the Sept. 1 issue. The paper was authored by mechanical engineering doctoral student David Go, Garimella, associate professor of mechanical engineering Timothy Fisher and Intel research engineer Rajiv Mongia.
"This technology is very exciting and innovative," Mongia said. "It has the potential of enabling imaginative notebook and handheld PC designs in the future."
The new cooling technology could be introduced in computers within three years if researchers are able to miniaturize it and make the system rugged enough, Garimella said. As the technology is further developed, such cooling devices might be integrated into portable consumer electronics products, including cell phones.