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Refrigerator Cools Future Computers
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Old 24th July 2008, 10:02   #1
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Default Refrigerator Cools Future Computers

Researchers at Purdue University are developing a miniature refrigeration system, small enough to fit inside laptop computers. According to the researchers, the implementation of miniature refrigeration systems in computers can dramatically increase the amount of heat removed from the microchips, therefore boosting performance while simultaneously shrinking the size of computers.
Although the new technology seems promising, there are still several challenges. One complication is that many diaphragms must operate in parallel in order to pump a large enough volume of refrigerant for the cooling system; "So you have an array of 50 or 100 tiny diaphragm compressors, and you can stack them," Professor Groll said. According to Groll, the findings show that by stacking the diaphragms it is possible to design a prototype system small enough to fit inside a laptop. The design is optimized using a model, which enables the computer engineers to determine how many diaphragms to use and how to stack them, either in parallel to each other or in series. According to Groll, stacking in one direction might increase the pressure, while stacking in the other direction allows the necessary volume to be pumped. Another major challenge is learning how to manufacture the devices at a low cost. The industry currently requires a cost of about $30 each, but the researchers say it is not yet possible to meet these demands.
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