Purdue University engineers have developed a “micro-pump” cooling device small enough to fit on a computer chip that circulates coolant through channels etched into the chip. “Our goal is to develop advanced cooling systems that are self-contained on chips and are capable of handling the more extreme heating in future chips,” said Suresh Garimella, director of Purdue’s Cooling Technologies Research Center. The prototype chip contains numerous water-filled micro-channels, grooves about 100 microns wide. The channels are covered with a series of hundreds of electrodes that receive varying voltage pulses in such a way that a traveling electric field is created in each channel. The traveling field creates ions, which are dragged along by the moving field, causing the water to flow and inducing a cooling action.
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