On die cooling to prevent heat death

Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2009 - 12:01 PM |

The biggest problem about multi-core processors is the high amount of heat that can be produced in small areas, like the interconnects; as evidenced by the 2lb slabs of copper and model helicopter rotors we strap to them to keep them cool.  Intel in cooperation with several other research groups have discovered a way to incorporate TECs inside the actual chip packaging.  The idea is to target the hot spots on processors, as opposed to housing the entire chip on a TEC, which may keep costs down as well as energy consumption. The article Slashdot links to does describe the process of integrating this new technology in current CPUs as "prohibitively expensive."

"Researchers at Intel, RTI International of North Carolina, and Arizona State University have

made ultra-thin 'micro-refrigerators' for computer chips. The device uses a thermoelectric

cooler made from nanostructured thin-film superlattice that can reduce the temperature by 55C

when a current passes through it. In testing, it reduced the temperature on part of a chip by

15C without impairing its performance. The researchers say the component could be

particularly useful for cooling hot spots that frequently occur on multi-core chips."

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