Nano-Cooling Breakthrough Achieved By Intel And Berkley

/ 3 years ago


University of California researchers at Intel and Berkley reported to have made a breakthrough in cooling microchips by using a combination of carbon nanotubes, which we previously reported that Japanese researchers found a way to mass produce them as well as their impact on technology, and organic molecules to create a high efficient connection between a chip and its heatsink.

As chips get smaller, and faster even, the heat generated by the chips becomes a more increasing aspect that researchers have to deal with. It was previously noted that carbon nanotubes could work as a high efficient conduit for this heat, but the issue still remained in getting the heat to the carbon nanotubes.

“The thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes exceeds that of diamond or any other natural material but because carbon nanotubes are so chemically stable, their chemical interactions with most other materials are relatively weak, which makes for high thermal interface resistance,” explained Frank Ogletree, a physicist at Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and leader of the study”

And from here, Intel comes in with a little improvement to their plan. Nachiket Raravikar and Ravi Prasher, who were both Intel engineers from the project’s very beginning, were able to increase and strengthen the contact between the carbon nanotubes and the surface of other materials, reducing thermal resistance and increasing heat transport efficiency. It works by using organic molecules to form strong covalent bonds between the carbon nanotubes and metal surfaces, equivalent to using thermal paste between a heat sink and a CPU.

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The new system formed allows for a six-fold increase in heat flow from the metal to the nanotubes, and also the method uses nothing more than gas vapour or low-temperature liquid chemistry, meaning it can easily be integrated into the production process of modern chips. But it is not done yet, since the tests currently show that only a small portion of the nanotubes connect to the metal surface, but it is progress nonetheless.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Bit-Tech

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  • Andres Reyes

    mm interesting, It could work with GPU’s, my last 2 procesors never hitted beyond 46ºC with overclock and rendering Mental ray/Vue/V-ray for several hours, I think CPU’s are fine now, my AMD FX 3150 never goes beyond 35ºC idle and never 45ºC full load running at 4.5. I hope they sell this technology a good price for other companies like GPU’s, to improve their cooling, any GPU can last a couple of years, there are some Intel Pentiun 4 still working in my office, after I OC’ed and used for render Adobe Premiere and some V-ray renders, but no GPU working they all died after a couple of years GTX 8800, GT8600, GTX 9800, GT9800, GTX260, GTX275, GTX460, all nvidia GPU’s only lasted couple of years and I never overclock them, so I changed to AMD but I cant tell nothing yet still too soon, and to be honest there are better coolers nowdays.

    • Shovinus

      ^ makes input just his life story. Adds no useful data whatsoever.

  • taak

    It is Berkeley.