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Kronos cooling run at 8.5kilo-volts to cool a device 25 degrees Celsius - Image courtesy
Kronos Advanced Technologies claims that's the way we're headed

Lately, heatsinks and traditional fans have become so large that they are beginning to be obstructive and are sometimes too heavy. This is an issue on the graphics processor front in many ways, as there isn't enough room for large heatsinks, yet GPU thermal exceeds that of high-speed CPUs.

A company called Kronos Advanced Technologies is working on a method of removing heat from devices such as CPUs by using ionic discharge to create a fluid motion of air. This technology has been around for a few years and is used in products such as ionic air filters, which have no moving parts but still move volumes of air and create quite a strong breeze. The same concept is being applied to micro processor cooling.

Despite the advancement however, the volume of air moved over the CPU core is still small because the core surface area is small. Heatsinks are used to increase surface area of the hot surface, so that when air is moved over the fins, more heat can transfer to the air. The Kronos' device will attempt to remove hot air away from the processor core directly without the need for heatsinks. With this method, the velocity of air being moved needs to be extremely fast in order to compensate for the lack of surface area -- and speed is something that ionic air "movers" lack.

Right now, Kronos is still working on prototypes, which it claims are scalable from very small micro coolers to large scale sizes. Power requirements also appear to be quite steep at this point in time. One of Kronos' demonstration shows a heated area being reduced from roughly 50C to 25C using an ionic cooler, but the power supply required around 8.5kV, or 8500 volts, to stay stable.

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RE: 2.5kV?
By vdig on 1/4/2007 4:20:45 PM , Rating: 1
1.21 gigawatts! Whoops, wrong quote.

8.5kV is absolutely brutal, and nigh unacceptable for the purposes of PCs. However, if a less potent form of this technology can be implemented in tandem with traditional cooling solutions, it just might be useful.

Those developers need to find a way to make this much more power efficient. As it is, I do not want to touch this with a 10 foot plastic pole.

RE: 2.5kV?
By Egglick on 1/4/2007 4:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
Usually when a device uses very high voltages like 8.5kV, it only uses a tiny amount of current.

An example would be a camera flash, which uses circuitry to amplify voltage and build up a charge in a capacitor (up to 4kV) and then discharges it all at once, illuminating the flash tube. It can do this from an AA battery, because it's only using a miniscule amount of current.

Not knowing much about the technology, I couldn't tell you how much current these coolers are using, but I doubt that it's anywhere near an amp (or even half an amp), even if they say usage is still unacceptable.

RE: 2.5kV?
By WayneG on 1/4/2007 6:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry it had to be done...
"1.21 jigowatts!!!?!"

RE: 2.5kV?
By Hawkido on 1/4/2007 6:31:18 PM , Rating: 3
Please don't confuse voltage with power. Static electricity can be generated on carpet as high as 4000 to 40,000 volts. Voltage is just a measure of the Pressure (for lack of a better word) of electricity. you can convert 1V @ 1A to 1MV @.000001A with a transformer. they both have the exact same power (wattage). as for danger the amperage is what kills (usually), unless the voltage blasts you apart. The Voltage AC has a frequency, and the lower the Hz the more voltage is required to jump an arc, the higher the Hz the less voltage is required to make the jump but the more eratic the arc will be, because it will take the least resisting path per each alternation, sometimes coiling around in a circle several times or dancing playfully in the glass bulb of a Tesla Coil from Spencers at the mall.

8.5kV is absolutely brutal, and nigh unacceptable for the purposes of PCs

This voltage is necessary to project the force of electricity from the electrodes into the air. Any less and the electricity wouldn't be able to ionize the air, more voltage will ionize more air, however the more the air is ionized the more conductive it becomes, and the greater chance it has of jumping an arc. They probably use an air core transformer just like what is in a Tesla Coil to jack up the voltage (and inversly drop the Amperage at the same time) and let it dance around in the 'trodes releasing electrons into the surrounding air, thus ionizing it. The power consumed by most ionizers is very little tho the voltages can be astronomical.

You should look up Tesla's work on AC voltage, he pretty much invented all things AC or the fundamental mechanics (electrics?) that is the foundation of our modern world. Radio, remote controlled radio devices, transformers, AC motors, multiphase AC motors, multiphase AC generators, flourescent lightbulbs,Rotating Magnetic Field, X-rays, golly it just goes on, all before the 1900's.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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