HP looks to keep systems cool

Addressing the growing problem of heat dissipation in chips and systems, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced it is working on a suite of technologies to address heat generation and energy use in increasingly powerful microprocessors and datacenters.

HP's proposed solutions include everything from reinventing the company's inkjet technology for cooling semiconductors to heat-sensing robots that patrol datacenters, looking for ways to optimize energy use and reduce costs, according to HP.

"We need to come up with clever means of cooling the datacenter and clever means of cooling the chip," said Chandrakant Patel, principal scientist for thermo-mechanical architecture at HP Labs.

The inkjet printing cartridge is being re-engineered to serve as a cooling device for chips, dispensing dieletric liquid coolant in a closed-loop system onto specific areas of a processor. Liquid vaporizes on impact and cools the chip, whereupon vapor is then passed through a heat exchanger and pumped back into a reservoir that feeds the cooling device, HP said.

The company noted that as semiconductors become more powerful, the amount of heat generation has increased significantly. Chips just an eighth of an inch square will soon emit as much heat as a 100-watt light bulb, HP said.

News source: InfoWorld - HP looks to keep systems cool

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