CPU’s With Direct Liquid Cooling Could Soon Be a Thing

CPU Cooling 2Heatsinks and cooling blocks may soon be a thing of the past as researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology remove bulky hardware and just apply the cooling directly to the chip.

Associate professor Muhannad Bakir says that this technology could also be applied to GPUs, as well as CPUs, and could mean far more powerful systems in the future with fewer compromises when taking heat into consideration.

CPU Cooling 3Bakir, along with graduate student Thomas Sarvey used a Altera field-programmable gate array chip and removed everything spreading heat. They then  “etched cooling passages into the silicon, incorporating silicon cylinders approximately 100 microns in diameter to improve heat transmission into the liquid. A silicon layer was then placed over the flow passages, and ports were attached for the connection of water tubes.”

The water, being fed in at 20 degrees at 147ml per minute the chip never went above 24 degrees Celsius, compared to the usual 60 degrees.

“We believe we have eliminated one of the major barriers to building high-performance systems that are more compact and energy efficient.”

“We have eliminated the heat sink atop the silicon die by moving liquid cooling just a few hundred microns away from the transistors,” said Bakir. “We believe that reliably integrating microfluidic cooling directly on the silicon will be a disruptive technology for a new generation of electronics.”

This is quite impressive, not just for high end systems, but for low profile systems and servers too. What are your thoughts though? Let us know in the comments!

[Source: Georgia Institute of Technology]

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