CPU fans have a certain steampunkian quality to them. They’re loud, annoying, and collect all sorts of debris as they run, whirring endlessly and eventually failing. This new heatsink – more like an impeller coupled with a brushless motor – is the latest in heatsink technology and promises quiet and efficient heatsinkery in the future.
Built by Sandia, this cooling system could cool CPUs or even lighting. Because it consists of only three pieces – the fins, the base, and a motor – the headsink could offer maintenance free cooling for years. It actually blows dust out of its own crevices as it spins and with the right calculations you could make this bigger or smaller for various implementations.
To see the heatsink in action, fast forward to about 2:30 and watch how this puppy whirrs. You can read more about the impeller at Sandia.gov.Related Posts:
Strange gadgets aren’t a rarity at CES, but this processor heatsink is quite an interesting device. It’s called the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ CPU heatsink, and it has a computer built into it. Behind a large fan and lots of aluminum fins for cooling down that processor in your gaming rig, there’s an AMD E-350 Brazos APU on a micro motherboard. According to PC Perspective, the built-in computer has Wi-Fi, ethernet, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. We’re not completely sure why you’d want a second computer in your computer, but it’s a pretty neat demo. It’s not a perfect solution: we suspect that your CPU will not be getting cooled properly with a motherboard blocking it, and it’s certainly not going to be easy to open up your computer’s…
This is a nice little twist on the traditional heatsink design you find on CPUs around the world. While normally you’d have a thermally conductive surface, some heat pipes, and a fan driving air over stationary heatsink plates, this design from Sandia switches things up. No fan at all — or if you like, the heatsink is the fan.
Basically the heatsink is a vortex-like shape that scoops up air into the gaps between the blades and creates a downward flow of cool air towards the center of the heatsink. It’s an elegant solution, though of course not without its downfalls.
The footprint is necessarily large because of the principles involved; most CPU coolers move heat out perpendicular to the heated element (i.e. directly away from the CPU) and as such are orientated vertically, if you will. This needs much more horizontal space (though it’s much smaller overall), something that’s at a premium on ATX boards, what with all the extra PCI stuff, six or more RAM slots, and voltage connectors wherever there’s a spare bit of PCB. And the microscopic distance between the blades and the surface might be hard to maintain (or keep clean).
That said, it’s an interesting design and could be a great solution for compact electronics like laptop boards and embedded systems. They’re looking into lots of different applications, but don’t expect one in your desktop any time soon. More info here. Patent pending!
[via Tech Report]