16 June 2008

Water-cooled chips - back to the future

A network of tiny pipes of water could be used to cool next-generation PC chips, researchers at IBM have said.
The reason is an amazing quantity of power consumed by new multi-layered IBM chips:
Each 4 sq cm sandwich is just 1mm thick but pumps out close to 1kilowatt - equivalent to that generated by a hotplate.
And the solution looks eerily familiar*:

The tiny pipes are sandwiched in a layer 100 microns (millionths of a metre) thick between stacked circuits. The tubes are hermetically sealed to prevent leaks and short circuits.

It looks like a dream of many a computer programmer come true: a PC that is a coffeemaker.

(*) At lest for a computer dinosaur like I. The dimensions of the water piping are different, otherwise it is the good ole IBM 360 CPU all over again. Well, almost.