Cooler CPU Coolers
The Sandia Research Laboratory has come up with a new, revolutionary, heatsink design for cooling the CPU and other components. I realize that CPU coolers don’t generate quite as much excitement as a CPU generates heat, but this is exciting news for those of us who have been in the industry a while. Cooler heads have prevailed. The familiar, 2-Piece Heatsink cooler and CPU fan combination have been a familiar component inside computers for as long as I can remember. While the shape, size, style and weight have varied, the fundamental parts behind CPU cooling has remained the same: Heatsink, CPU Fan and mounting bracket that snaps into place on the CPU socket or perhaps glued in some cases such as graphics cards and coprocessors to keep things cooler. There is also some thermal compound to aid in the CPU heat sink’s dissipation of the heat.
Heatsink-Fan Combo CPU Coolers
The new, Sandia CPU Cooler is a heat sink / fan rolled into one and needs no thermal compound. The CPU cooler is basically a one-piece, heat sink cooler which spins at 2,000 RPM and sits a mere, 1/1000th of an inch above the processor. Using a hydrodynamic air bearing, the device is a self-supporting cooler which floats above the CPU and/orchip and brings cool air down from the center of itself while ejecting heat from the circulating fins. The result, according to Sandia, is a CPU cooler which is 30x more efficient than the typical heat-sink-fan-combo described above. What we don’t know yet is if the Sandia CPU Cooler can still function properly when it is turned sideways as in a tower computer configuration with CPU sitting sideways. It shouldn’t be too much longer before we get more answers to this.
Who is Selling the New Cooler?
A company, apparently, has already signed a license agreement to market the Sandia as a CPU Cooling product. Who will be selling the cooler and on what platforms, processors, CPU’s, etc., can we expect to see it being used? Having been so accustomed to 25 years or so of old-fashioned CPU cooling technology, I’m not going to get too heated up waiting for the cooler answers, but it will be nice to see it in action on an actual CPU when it gets here.