Carbon nanotubes are handy in a variety of applications. These nanoscale tubes have many uses, including making x-rays safer, creating better holograms and even fighting cancer.
They have great heat conductivity as well, but until now, there have
been issues with getting them to stick to hot metal surfaces, like those
on a CPU. The Intel/Berkeley team, though, found a solution. They
bonded the nanotubes to the chip by using a thin layer of organic
compounds. The results were astonishing: their experiment resulted in
the carbon nanotubes pulling heat off of the chip six times more
efficiently than a standard heat sink.
These results are amazing,
especially considering that during the experiment, all the nanotubes
weren't in contact with the metal layer of the chip at the time. When
the team figures out how to fix that issue, you’ve got a heat sink that
actually works, even during overclocking. Of course, this means that if a
regular computer user wanted to replace their CPU, they’d need a
knowledge of and access to carbon nanotubes, something most of us don’t
have. But if this new technology goes into new computers, there may
never be a reason to change out the CPU: just overclock the processor to
make it faster, with no worries about overheating your machine.
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