A researcher at Sandia National Laboratories has claimed to have created a system which will improve the efficiency of laptop cooling, by using liquid-filled pipes that force heat to the edge of a laptop where it can be removed with a small fan or air fin.
While the idea of using pipes isn't new – Intel and others have been using them for years – this new technology is said to be more efficient than previous cooling systems. If this technology is used it is expected to allow for more space in a laptop as it removes the need for larger cooling systems, like more traditional cooling solutions. The trend to use desktop processors in laptops could also be given a boost with this new system, and these allow for more powerful and less expensive laptops to be built.
In the pipes is a wick of finely etched lines with about the same depth as a fingerprint. The liquid defies gravity by flowing between several places, like a kerosene lamp wick. One of the editors of Microprocessor Report has claimed that "That is the uniqueness -- the ultra-fine etching ... Most of the heat pipes are tubes about the width of a piece of spaghetti or thicker". It is also thought that this technique of cooling could be used to 'stack' chips in a desktop machine.
News source: ZDNet