Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > New Technology Has Dramatic Chip-Cooling Potential for Future Computers

These two infrared images show the cooling effect of an experimental device that uses small "ionic wind engines" developed at Purdue. The red image shows the hot surface of a mock computer chip heated to about 60 degrees Celsius (140 Fahrenheit), and the blue image demonstrates that the device was able to cool the surface to about 35 degrees Celsius (95 F). (Birck Nanotechnology Center image)
These two infrared images show the cooling effect of an experimental device that uses small "ionic wind engines" developed at Purdue. The red image shows the hot surface of a mock computer chip heated to about 60 degrees Celsius (140 Fahrenheit), and the blue image demonstrates that the device was able to cool the surface to about 35 degrees Celsius (95 F). (Birck Nanotechnology Center image)

Abstract:
Researchers have demonstrated a new technology using tiny "ionic wind engines" that might dramatically improve computer chip cooling, possibly addressing a looming threat to future advances in computers and electronics.

New Technology Has Dramatic Chip-Cooling Potential for Future Computers

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN | Posted on August 13th, 2007

The 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.

Advanced cooling technologies are needed to help industry meet the conflicting goals of developing more compact and lightweight computers that are still powerful enough to run high-intensity programs for video games and other graphics-laden applications.

"In computers and electronics, power equals heat, so we need to find ways to manage the heat generated in more powerful laptops and handheld computers," Fisher said.

Also involved in the research was undergraduate mechanical engineering student Raul Maturana, who was supported with a National Science Foundation fellowship.

The experimental cooling device, which was fabricated on top of a mock computer chip, works by generating ions - or electrically charged atoms - using electrodes placed near one another. The device contained a positively charged wire, or anode, and negatively charged electrodes, called cathodes. The anode was positioned about 10 millimeters above the cathodes. When voltage was passed through the device, the negatively charged electrodes discharged electrons toward the positively charged anode. Along the way, the electrons collided with air molecules, producing positively charged ions, which were then attracted back toward the negatively charged electrodes, creating an "ionic wind."

This breeze increased the airflow on the surface of the experimental chip.

Conventional cooling technologies are limited by a principle called the "no-slip" effect - as air flows over an object, the air molecules nearest the surface remain stationary. The molecules farther away from the surface move progressively faster. This phenomenon hinders computer cooling because it restricts airflow where it is most needed, directly on the chip's hot surface.

The new approach potentially solves this problem by using the ionic wind effect in combination with a conventional fan to create airflow immediately adjacent to the chip's surface, Fisher said.

The device was created at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center in the university's Discovery Park. The researchers quantified the cooling effect with infrared imaging, which showed the technology reduced heating from about 60 degrees Celsius - or 140 degrees Fahrenheit - to about 35 degrees C, or 95 F.

"We've been trying to make this work for about a year, and now we have shown that it works quite well," Garimella said.

Patents are pending for the new design.

The researchers also have developed computational models to track the flow of electrons and ions generated by the device, information needed for designing future systems using the technology.

Computer chips are constantly being upgraded by creating designs with more densely packed circuits, transistors and other electronic components. The number of transistors per chip has been doubling every 18 months or so, in line with a general principle called Moore's law. As performance increases, however, so does heat generation, particularly in small hot spots. These hot spots not only hinder performance, but also could damage or destroy delicate circuitry. This means new cooling methods will be required for more powerful computers in the future.

The next step in the research will be to reduce the size of components within the device from the scale of millimeters to microns, or millionths of a meter. Miniaturizing the technology will be critical to applying the method to computers and consumer electronics, allowing the device to operate at lower voltage and to cool small hot spots, Garimella said.

Another challenge will be making the technology rugged enough for commercial applications.

"As things get smaller, they get more delicate, so we need to strengthen all the elements. And we believe we can achieve this goal in a year or so," Garimella said.

The researchers had previously authored two peer-reviewed papers about the work. Earlier work at Purdue to develop the ionic-wind technique has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

####

About Purdue University
Founded in 1869 and named after benefactor John Purdue, Purdue University began its journey with six instructors, 39 students and a mission to provide agriculture and mechanic arts education.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709,

Sources: Suresh Garimella, 765-494-5621,

Timothy Fisher, 765-494-5627,

Rajiv Mongia, 408-765-8080

Copyright © Purdue University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Chip Technology

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nano-sized Chip "Sniffs Out" Explosives Far Better than Trained Dogs: TAU researcher's groundbreaking sensor detects miniscule concentrations of hazardous materials in the air July 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE