Many computer enthusiasts understand that how fast a processor runs is in
part dependent on how well the chip can be cooled. This is why record-setting
benchmark runs are typically made with processors cooled by exotic means.
Cooling is just as important for mobile systems like notebook computers and
other portable electronics. The size of the fan required for the system can
affect how small devices can be built. A pair of engineers from Thorrn Micro
Technologies Inc, Dan Schlitz and Vishal Singhal, have developed a new
solid-state fan that works similarly to household air purifiers.
The resulting fan is the most
powerful and energy efficient fan of its size and moves more air than fans that
are 35 times its size. The RSD5 solid-state fan is described by Singhal as,
“One of the most significant advancements in electronics cooling since heat
pipes. It could change the cooling paradigm for mobile electronics.”
The device operates thanks to a phenomenon called corona wind. This corona
wind is created by placing a series of live wires within uncharged conducting
plates contoured into half cylinders, partially enveloping the wires. The live
wires generate micro-scale plasma that conducts electricity.
The corona wind is created within the intense electrical field that results
from the configuration of the wires and the conducting plates. The researchers
say they were able to control the micro-scale discharge to produce maximum
airflow without risk of arcing or sparks which could prove catastrophic to
electronic devices [Video].
Schlitz says, “The technology has the power to cool a 25-watt chip with a
device smaller than 1 cubic-cm and can someday be integrated into silicon to
make self-cooling chips.”
MSI has also been working on more efficient ways to cool electronic
components as well. DailyTech reported in February that MSI had announced a new
ECOlution chipset cooler that operates on the Stirling Engine Theory.