Cooling Chips

Mechanical professionals at Purdue University have come up with the idea of a new micro device used as a cooling system for computers. This chip is used as a pump and is only slightly bigger than the width of a single stand of human hair. The chip is placed on top of a computer chip and uses a technique known as electrohydrodynamics. The purpose is to keep the computer from overheating which may cause damage to hardware.

Process- Cooling chips use a process known as electron cooling to reduce temperatures within a computer. Cooling chips achieve this by allowing high enery electrons to escape (high energy electrons produce heat, while low energy electrons do not). This process significantly reduces internal heat. Cooling chips has an insulated gap that traps the dissapated high energy electrons within.

Testing- At the Georgia Institute of Technology, scientists have been testing an innovative way to create more efficient cooling chips. The problem with most cooling chips is the vapours that move the heat from the chips seems to have a harder time removing heat from the face of the chip or the hottest part. The Georgia Institute has began to test solutions for this problem. Their latest discovery is moving this film that builds on the surface of the chip with sound waves. The insulator like film was causing the heartache in reducing the surface heat but is moved quite easily with only 1KHZ of an acoustic sound wave. Cooling chips are still relatively new and tests will continue to be held on them to create the most efficient and effective in the industry.

Challenges- There are many different challenges facing the progression micro cooling systems. One of the greatest challenges is creating a model that is compact enough to fit in our everyday technologies. Creating things on a micro level brings about a lot of complications as far as the flow of the fluids, getting the flow exactley correct can be a long and strenious process. Another one of the main issues is if there were to be water leakage in one of the chips. Having leaks in the chips would be devistating to the technology and potentially devistating to the consumer using the chip.

  1. Heat-Transfer Coefficient- Used for calculating the heat transfer by convection of phase change between a fluid and a solid.
  2. Hot Spots- Programs or commands executed so frequent they actually have a higher temperature than other parts of the computer.
  3. Microelectromechanical System (MEMS)- mechanical parts and electric circuits combined to form minature devices, typically on a semiconductor chip, with dimensions from tens of micrometers to a few hundred micrometers.
  4. Electrohydrodynamics- The study of movement of ionised particles or molecules and their interactions with electric fields and their surrounding fluids.



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