OCZ Displays Carbon Nanotube Cooler
June 9, 2007 3:26 AM
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The OCZ Hydrajet cooler, featured upside-down to reaveal the carbon nanotube conductor. (Source DailyTech, Anh Huynh)
The OCZ Hydrojet cooler uses an advanced heatsink material
The first heatsink to make use of directional carbon nanotubes, the OCZ Hydrojet, was on display at Computex 2007. Carbon nanotubes, an allotrope of carbon, are widely regarded as the next major thermal interface material because of their superior thermal conduction properties.
The contact base of the OCZ Hydrojet is made completely of carbon-nanotubes, which OCZ claims are five times more efficient than copper. Carbon nanotubes have been looked upon as a strong alternative to traditional copper based heatsinks. They are ideal for application in heat transfer products because of their impressive heat-conduction properties. Carbon nanotube based interfaces have been shown to conduct more heat than conventional thermal interface materials at the same temperatures. In addition, they have shown to be ballistic conductors at room temperature, which means electrons can flow through CNTs without collisions.
Carbon nanotubes are small wire-like structures made out of a sheet of graphene. The sheet of graphene used to construct CNTs is roughly one-atom thick, and is rolled up into a cylinder. The diameter of the cylinder ranges in the nanometers.
Unlike most other thermal materials, carbon nanotubes are able to move heat in one direction. On the other hand, copper, which is looked upon as one of the more superior thermal materials, moves heat radially. In the case of CNTs, heat is moved along the alignment of the nanotubes.
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A few questions being left unanswered.
6/11/2007 11:42:18 AM
This technology sounds great. A great low cost alternative to watercooling. Since it was just at computex, there isn't a whole lot of information being released about it. Performance stats, possible usages. I mean, they talk about being only atoms thin and a heat transfer material. Can this be used to replace thermal compounds? I deal with phase change and peltier type cooling. I took these statements as these tubes being a replacement for the cooling plate (copper wafer that sits between the cold side of the device and the processor).
What kind of applications or packaging can we expect this new tech to come in? It looks like, in this picture, they used it to replace copper heat pipes. It looks to me that they are still using a conventional HSF type setup on top of the tubes... Maybe a self contained water cooling unit over the tubes... Hard to say without dissecting it.
Definitely something I am going to keep my eye on in the next year or two.
RE: A few questions being left unanswered.
6/11/2007 3:42:41 PM
Low cost alternative to water cooling? More like a more expensive variation of liquid cooling but let's wait out performance numbers.
As of right now, liquid cooling needs a combo with other methods in order to efficiently cool the entire system, I see some TEC/WC combos, that's something I considered doing to improve cooling. Let's see what this innovation brings to the table.
Whoever figures out how to combine a passive power supply or a tower case with efficient/silent cooling will have a good chance at making some serious money.
The first one to offer a product that will cool all the components and enclose HDD's to reduce noise will appeal to the HTPC/gaming rig crowd. While that market may not seem like a gold mine now maybe it just needs the right product to grow...
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