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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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Like mass lifters
By peternelson on 1/4/2007 11:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
If the ionic breeze is just to generate airflow I don't really see the benefits over a conventional fan.

Anyway this reminds me of various lifter experiments:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionocraft

These vehicles work on high voltage ionisation to fly using a self-generated "wind".

However "require many safety precautions due to the high voltage required for their operation and the risk of lung and throat cancer from long term inhalation of their ionised air product"

"not to mention the associated health hazards due to excess inhalation of ozone and NOx produced in the corona."

GIVEN THAT PC ARE USUALLY USED INDOORS IN NOT VERY WELL VENTILATED SPACES, there is potential for the ionisation technology to make your air hazardous. Including DEADLY.

Of course you could always just not breath in, or operate your pc wearing a space suit or diving equipment.

Personally I wouldn't trust this cooling tech until the air it kicks out has been thoroughly tested for long term health effects, which the designers may not be aware of.




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