Next-Gen CPU Cooler Uses Bubbles

Noise Limit Inc. said that its "next generation" CPU cooler appeared this week at the SEMI-THERM 21 trade show, revealing that CPUs don't really need fans to keep their cool, but actually prefer bubbles. We like bubbles too.

This past weekend, Tom's Hardware threw up a great article entitled "Big, Bad, Cooling Systems," sporting thirty-three images of the craziest cooling solutions we could uncover. The gallery showed just how creative PC enthusiasts can be, rigging up dozens of tubes to cool every component, or doing it the easy way by dumping everything in a fish tank and filling it up with mineral oil (sans the fish, of course). Granted one or two featured setups used bubbles as an effect (or so it seemed), Noise Limit's "next generation" Silentflux cooling system would have been ideal for this feature. Its setup is admittedly less-than-spectacular in a visual sense, however the idea behind its creation is unique to say the least: use bubbles to cool the CPU.

According to the company, the Silentflux system--dubbed as a passive pro "no fan required" high performance cooler--went on display this week at the SEMI-THERM 25 trade show held in San Jose, California.  However, in a press release distributed yesterday, Noise Limit said that its Silentflux system utilizes bubble pump technology, removing the cooling fan completely with the aid of a high efficiency condenser. An evaporator (boiling) chamber collects the heat generated by the CPU, thus causing gas bubbles that, in turn, create a pump effect. The heat thus moves through the closed loop tubing via a hot liquid into a highly efficient condenser/radiator (fin area). Gas is then condensed and returned to the evaporator chamber. Hopefully all those gas bubbles and hot liquids won't create an explosive effect, especially after eating a night's worth of spicy food.

Noise Limit said that the Silentflux design is still patent pending, and that end-users can accommodate the Silentflux for any situation, whether they want to capture heat from dual CPUs, or from a CPU and a GPU in a gaming rig. “Noise Limit’s cooling system products are intrinsically engineered to achieve a new low noise threshold, but the design also offers greater flexibility in footprint design for various computing-based applications including media centers, all-in-one PC, servers, and high-end gaming products,” said Bob Senior, executive vice president at Noise Limit.

Granted a boiling chamber planted within the PC seems a little risky--if not dangerous, Noise Limit assures consumers that the Silentflux system is extremely reliable, extremely predictable, and is insensitive to temperature, vibration, and shock. The company even claims that the system will not leak. When compared to heat pipes, the Silentflux provides up to 50 percent less thermal resistance because it is an ultra-low pressure-drop system; this allows for very low fan velocities at the radiator end of the system.

"In typical operation, the cooling action will be functioning but the product will seem quiet to the product user," the company said. "Bubble pump technology is not only efficient in capturing and transferring heat, it is silent, too. And it works to temperatures as low as -40C."

By using simple physics principles, Noise Limit has created a unique way to remove heat from the CPU without the need for noisy cooling fans. And because the Silentflux offers unlimited design options and scalability, this "next generation" cooling system may actually be the way to go for PC enthusiasts and PC gamers alike. The Silentflux is not only easy on the ears, but is 100 percent recyclable, uses low power, and is extremely cost-effective.

"The team has made great strides by lowering noise reduction in a solution that has great performance and high reliability," said AMD.

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  • Sounds too good to be true. Will we see this anytime soon to the average consumer?
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  • Thermo-dynamics was never my thing, but how do they get the compression back into liquid state to be efficient? You refridgerator works on much the same premise as this device, take a cooling agent, allow it to expand, taking in energy from the air inside your fridge, then expell that heat through a radiator on the back. The only problem is, your fridge needs a powered compressor to get the coolant back into a liquid phase.

    In theory, if your CPU ran hot enough, this thing would just shut-down, right?
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  • Yeah when can we buy such a cooling system?
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