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Purdue University doctoral student Tannaz Harirchia and her professor Suresh Garimella (right) have developed a hot new kind of cooling using boiling liquid inside on-chip channels. The researcher holds up her chip design that features the powerful new cooling scheme. She and her advisor have developed formulas to describe the rules that govern boiling in microchannels.  (Source: Purdue University)
Move over air, PC's may have a new best friend

PC cooling is a field of much interest in the enthusiast community.  Traditional solutions have kept it simple, sticking to such tried and true design ideas as making bigger and bigger cooler towers with more heatpipes and fans to making bulky water blocks and circulating liquid to fans in the rear of a case.  Still, enthusiasts have tried to come up with better exotic solutions, trying everything from mineral oil submersion (expensive), piezoelectric coolers, Stirling engines, and Peltier/TEC cooling (expensive).

Car cooling can be equally, if not more demanding.  Cooling a car on the road typically involves removing enough heat to heat two houses in the winter.  Cars typically utilize a mix of fans and water cooling to keep their engines running at a manageable temperature.

Both of these applications may get a boost, thanks to a relatively new cooling technology being researched at Purdue University.  The new tech is essentially phase change cooling (used in freezers and in exotic phase change cooling systems), but the liquid is pumped through microchannels, tiny channels cut into chips.  The minute size of these channels makes them behave very differently than macroscale phase change cooling systems and makes them even more efficient.

The university is making liquid cooled chips with the help of Delphi Electronics.  Suresh Garimella, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, and doctoral student Tannaz Harirchia are the researchers leading the drive to derive new mathematical formulas to fully understand how boiling occurs in these microchannels and how to improve it to transfer away more heat energy.

The researchers write, "[A]llowing a liquid to boil in cooling systems dramatically increases how much heat can be removed, compared to simply heating a liquid to below its boiling point." 

Describes Professor Garimella, "Boiling occurs differently in tiny channels than it does in ordinary size tubing used in conventional cooling systems."

Purdue's microchannel heatsink measures one square inch in area.  It uses a small compressor to get rid of the heat and return it to the liquid phase.

The Purdue researchers are continuing their research, which is funded by Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, and Purdue-based National Science Foundation Cooling Technologies Research Center.  Meanwhile, the commercial chipmaking industry's biggest players are very interested in this new kind of cooling.  IBM is currently working on a multilayer chip which has liquid directly inside it, likely in microchannels.

The breakthrough may help to usher in a new era of greater computing power and improved automotive performance by allowing chips to run at much higher frequencies, and cars engines to operate at greater efficiencies.  In this field that has long relied on two things -- water pumps and fans -- a boiling water microchannel solution using mini-compressors is innovation at its finest.

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Are there any real men here?
By ptmmac on 9/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Are there any real men here?
By Motoman on 9/24/2009 10:30:41 AM , Rating: 5
Go away and let the nerds play.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By ptmmac on 9/24/09, Rating: -1
By DominionSeraph on 9/24/2009 10:54:24 AM , Rating: 4
A nerd would be asking what power is required to drive this thing

No. Nerd sees girl. Thinky no work. Is like Homer. **drool**

By DominionSeraph on 9/24/2009 11:03:43 AM , Rating: 3
I think you need to ream out that second-wave feminist nonsense and learn to live a little.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2009 11:10:59 AM , Rating: 4
You really need to get out more.

Thinking a woman is attractive does not indicate that's all we think women are good for. Intelligence is a huge turn on for me. I don't even date women who don't have a college degree or who are not at least pursuing one. There might be an exception here or there, but if a girl says something like "fans make a room cooler because the blades cool the air as it moves across them", I don't find them attractive.

And yes that's an actual quote from a girl. I didn't date her, a co-worker did. He dumped her soon after that comment.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By HrilL on 9/24/2009 12:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Was she blonde?

RE: Are there any real men here?
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2009 2:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Never met her. But believe so. Was not a model anymore but had done some modeling too.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By bupkus on 9/24/2009 1:25:36 PM , Rating: 4
Unfortunately, the male brain is both a master and servant organ. Example, note the selective filtering of female related statements.

Nerds? I don't hear any nerds. I hear children with no interesting thoughts, just noise and envy. A nerd would be asking what power is required to drive this thing , how big is the w hole system and how long before I can get a 100 Gh[ gigity ]z chip in my lap[dance] top?

Hee, hee, hee, hee... okey, you're right.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By ClownPuncher on 9/24/2009 3:20:25 PM , Rating: 5
So sorry to dissapoint. That woman is fine, and I have genitals.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By dragunover on 9/24/2009 3:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
well thank god you have either a vagina or penis, I was worried you had cut out all of your sex organs.

By ClownPuncher on 9/24/2009 3:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
I knew you would be worried.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By acase on 9/24/2009 11:13:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because we are all here on a tech news/blog site to pick up women?!? It's the equivalent of what every guy talks about when he is with other men. I'm not sure if you are a woman that just doesn't realize that is what every man is like when he is away from you with friends, or if you are just a guy without friends, but geez, chill out.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By R3T4rd on 9/24/2009 11:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm, as a cybernetic egineered life form and a second generation prototype compared to the first generation prototype model "Data", I am too curious. I would also like to state, my newer posotronic brain is capable of processing more of these human emotions, so please ptmmac, do refrain from ending these animal gestures of domination as I would like to experience (as you humans would say) first hand the human male species endevour in attaining and reproducing.

First off, this female student, will have to demonstrate and show me this "Pressing of the Lips", you humans so eagerly display. It is widely used amongst you humans. And secondly: it would also be acedemic and in human terms, perhaps "pleasing", if you would join her. Both you should show and enact to me your human mating rituals since I have very little knowledge of.

Perhaps it is my assumption that humans are a complicated species. But like all carbon form of life and subatomic particles, all matter just go in and out, in and out, in and out......

RE: Are there any real men here?
By kattanna on 9/24/2009 11:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
it does not really look like what I am saying is going to change your behavior. I am only posting because it doesn't appear that anyone else is going to point out how silly you sound.

and my friend.. that quote is right back at ya!


RE: Are there any real men here?
By MadMan007 on 9/24/2009 1:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
ptmmac, meet biology, biology meet ptmmac.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By NMDJuggler on 9/24/2009 1:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if you wanted to start addressing her as a human being, you might try to spell her name correctly. It's Tannaz Harirchian with an "n."

CNET got it wrong.

RE: Are there any real men here?
By amanojaku on 9/24/2009 2:02:09 PM , Rating: 2
Snarky comments aside, I'm happy a woman is getting credit. I see more and more women, beautiful ones at that, who are making inroads in fields traditionally dominated by men. These women aren't man-haters, either: they get married and have kids just like every other woman, and can be just as dirty and perverted as us men. I've overheard plenty of conversations between the fairer sex that made me blush. The higher level of education made those conversations much more colorful than what you'd hear in the street. ;-)

RE: Are there any real men here?
By Omega215D on 9/24/2009 10:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Like you've never been in a high school, college or even work place in which many women make snarky comments about or to men.

Get off your high horse and get into the modern world.

By AstroGuardian on 9/25/2009 9:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
She looks kinda HOT!

Interesting tech
By Pessimism on 9/24/2009 8:53:56 AM , Rating: 5
The source article says IBM has already been working on something similar, but hats off to them for being first out of the gate.

I think the real question on most of our minds is, will the student be available for on-site installation and support services for products bearing her technology?

RE: Interesting tech
By Master Kenobi on 9/24/2009 8:58:35 AM , Rating: 3
I second the requirement that she be available for on-site installation and demonstrations.....

RE: Interesting tech
By DominionSeraph on 9/24/2009 9:26:12 AM , Rating: 5
Hey, cool it off you two.

RE: Interesting tech
By ksherman on 9/24/2009 9:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ha! I see what you did there.

RE: Interesting tech
By bupkus on 9/24/2009 12:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, House.

RE: Interesting tech
By MrPoletski on 9/24/2009 9:34:32 AM , Rating: 3
cor... look at the brains on her...

RE: Interesting tech
By shaw on 9/24/2009 9:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
I will be forced to kill those who make quote Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin.

RE: Interesting tech
By lyeoh on 9/24/2009 9:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
On site demonstrations?

I think I might need some hands-on training.

RE: Interesting tech
By Davelo on 9/24/2009 12:20:06 PM , Rating: 1
Her chips are cool but she is hot!

RE: Interesting tech
By suryad on 9/24/2009 9:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah its always amazing to see when people improve on something considerably as they have done...something that at least in my mind is something which we seem to have a handle upon already. Great job!

RE: Interesting tech
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2009 9:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
Big +1 there. ;)

I think she should be there to show off her assets, I mean designs.

RE: Interesting tech
By kattanna on 9/24/2009 11:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
can you imagine how packed engineering departments would be at schools if there were more students looking like her?

By Sylar on 9/24/2009 10:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
I thought Dr Suresh was a geneticist, not an engineer? I need to find him! nao!

RE: Odd
By Murloc on 9/24/2009 11:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
that's mohinder suresh, this guy is suresh garimella.
uhm weird.

RE: Odd
By ClownPuncher on 9/24/2009 3:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
Totally, who would have thought that 2 guys from India might have common Indian names?

RE: Odd
By Alexstarfire on 9/24/2009 6:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
With more than 1.2 billion people I'm sure that some people will have similar names even if they aren't Indian name.

Is this basically a loop heatpipe solution, then?
By HotFoot on 9/24/2009 2:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
What differentiates this from a loop heatpipe, where a fluid is pumped through a closed loop cycle, boiling off at the hot zone and condensing in a radiator? Or is this a more specific design of the interface at the hot side of the loop that's the innovation? I'd be interested to see the actual work, since besides an increase in surface area, I'm not understanding how something like this would absorb more energy per gram of fluid pumped through the system and boiled at the hot side.

There's just too little information to feed on here. Damn my laziness! I'll have to go digging deeper.

By nikbaj on 9/24/2009 8:51:31 PM , Rating: 3
The heatsinking apparatus is one of the main contributors, in terms of the increased surface area. This work is important because it is a very in-depth and careful characterization of how to determine what flow regimes you are operating in (boiling occurs in different phases--first bubbly, then plugs, then film.) Film boiling is actually really bad for heat transfer.
Before this work microchannel heat sinks, even with two-phase flow have been proposed and around, but this work and associated works from the same group at Purdue have been particularly instrumental in being able to predict performance, which is a prerequisite for being able to efficiently designing these sorts of cooling systems without wasting a lot of time. So, in short, the work is important because it allows prediction of performance of these microchannel heat sinks, which when designed properly can cool things with pretty outrageous heat fluxes (heat flux is a measure of how much power is dissipated per unit area, and for thermal folks it is often just as or even more important than overall power.)

By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 9/24/2009 12:54:43 PM , Rating: 3
and that was way back in the 80's

Old news
By Regected on 9/24/2009 1:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
IBM has used micro channels in processors since the early 90s. I remember reading a tech write-up about a prototype chip made of 20 CPU dies stacked one on top of another with a cooling layer between each and a universal bus connecting all cores. I'm not sure if it took the coolant to its boiling point, but it still worked. I heard they were classified and used only for military applications. Such a shame since that kind of computing power has taken us 10-15 year to get in the consumer market.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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