Ionic Wind Cooling Next Step in CPU/GPU Cooling
January 4, 2007 3:44 PM
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Kronos cooling run at 8.5kilo-volts to cool a device 25 degrees Celsius - Image courtesy TheFutureofThings.com
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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1/4/2007 4:34:14 PM
If they are using 0.1W, that's actually quite efficient, an ordinary 120mm fan uses more than that.
IT's not important if it uses high voltage, high voltage does not mean high power... a static spark from you finger is on the order of 20,000V but has very very little power. A netburst processor might be only using 1.4 volts, but using 100W.
If it were (as you said) using 1A at 8.5KV, it would be putting out more energy than the sun for that surface area.... Clearly that wouldn't be cooling anything.
At 0.1W it's drawing only 0.000012A (12uA) which is not an unreasonable value in the world of ion-generation.
1/4/2007 4:51:56 PM
> "If it were (as you said) using 1A at 8.5KV, it would be putting out more energy than the sun for that surface area..."
The rest of your post was quite accurate, but this one went a wee bit overboard. The sun radiates more than 600 megawatts/sq meter, so even if this covered an area as small as 1 cm^2, it would still be considerably cooler than the solar surface. :)
1/4/2007 7:42:38 PM
his post references a .1cm^2 area.
8500W per .1cm^2 is 850MW/m^2
Which is an incredibly high power density.
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