New Technology Liquid-Cools CPUs For More Speed

The world wants faster computer processors, as if the new 2 GHZ and the impending 3 GHZ G5 arenit fast enough. There are only a few ways to push a CPU to higher clock speeds; cramming more transistors onto the chip and increasing on-chip bus speeds help, but if you figure out a way to cool the CPUs with liquid you could really get CPUs hopping.

Cooligy, a Stanford University spin-off company is offering up a new liquid cooling technique that could help computer makers, including Apple, dramatically increase processor speed, according to a Register article titled, "Intel, AMD, and Apple test on-chip water cooling tech." The technology could also allow CPUs such as the G5 to run at a cool enough temperature to run in a PowerBook. With current technology, the G5 is generally considered to be too toasty for small spaces like laptops. From the article:

Intel, AMD and IBM could soon been shipping water-cooled processors to boost clock frequencies without putting extra strain on notebook, desktop and server heat management systems, courtesy of a new technique developed by Stanford University spin-off company Cooligy.

Using water to cool over-clocked processors is nothing new, but Cooligy has taken the technique a stage further: it has figured out a way to implement water cooling directly within the chip itself.

Cooligyis approach - called Active Micro-Channel Cooling (AMC) - involves scoring hundreds of tiny channels into a silicon layer placed on the upper surface of the chip package. Water - or any other fluid, for that matter - circulates through the channels drawing heat away from the core.

The company claims AMC can cool a CPU by up to 1000W per square cm. The best a passive system can manage, it says, is 250W per square cm.

AMC uses a solid-state electro-kinetic pump to draw the water through the channels and across a heat radiator. Apart from the fluid, the system contains no moving parts, so should be effectively noiseless and reliable for long-term use, Cooligy says.

Read the full article at The Register and stop by Cooligyis Web site for more information on the technology.