Sandia Shows Off Fundamentally New CPU Cooler Design

Written by John Ponio    Thursday, 21 June 2012 16:01

Scandia Impeller CPU Cooler

Currently, one of the biggest challenges with designing computers is cooling. With the most widely used design of a CPU heatsink, it's a matter of balance between efficiency, noise, and size. Sure, theoretically you could get great cooling from a traditional heatisnk/fan if you made the radiator gigantic and strapped a huge fan to it. But that's not going to happen. It'd be incredibly noisy and very inconvenient. So what are we to do? Companies keep trying to make the traditional heatsink/fan combination work, using more conductive tubing and better fin design while making the fans more efficient and more quiet. But you can only make one design so great. So what about a new design? That's where Sandia National Laboratories comes in. They've recently shown off their new cooling design which uses an impeller instead of a fan, and blades on the impeller ran than blades on a radiator.

There's no word when this will actually come to market, but they did say that they already had a licensing agreement for this to become a CPU cooler. I'm excited, and I would seriously consider getting one when it comes out because of its near-silent operating noise and the fact that dust won't build up in it. You can read the full paper on it (complete with many details and numbers) here