According to a press release issued by Asetek, the company has been granted a patent related to liquid cooling graphics cards. The release didn't give many details, but did tell us that the patent was granted for Asetek's thermal interposer liquid cooling system built for use on GPUs.
"As seen in the recently announced AMD Radeon R9 295X2, the graphics cooling market is one that we see as having tremendous growth potential for our desktop business," said André Sloth Eriksen, Founder and CEO of Asetek. "We continue to see increasing interest from GPU and graphics card manufacturers due to increased power use and demands for lower acoustics. Given this interest, it is possible that the GPU cooling business could rival our CPU cooling business in the coming years."
While it is great to see Asetek is working towards making GPU liquid cooling more mainstream, we don't know that many details about this patent so we find it difficult to get excited over this. Instead, find ourselves getting worried. If this is a patent simply on liquid cooling a GPU, or even just liquid cooling a GPU using a closed loop liquid cooler, competing vendors have something to worry about. From the image, it looks like a new concept for a liquid cooling water block, but the exact workings of it are unclear.
Hopefully, this doesn't result in a patent war.
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EDIT: Okay just found a copy of the patent and the diagram of the device
So concerning the picture that is posted in this article with the labeled numbers:
"The embodiment shown in FIG. 4 illustrates an optional arrangement wherein only a single lower planar body 202 is utilized adjacent a single circuit board 10 and associated heat sources, without an upper planar body 204. The heat pipe 208 is routed through a serpentine path to facilitate transfer of thermal energy from the lower planar body 202 to the thermal transfer region 212, defined by a recessed seat or socket for receiving a modular cold plate assembly 100. It should be noted that a recess is not a requirement, and in some embodiments, the cold plate assembly may be removably attached to a thermal interposer assembly component (such as, for example, lower planar body 202 of FIG. 4) by another method. For example, the cold plate assembly 100 may be attached using screws or other fastening mechanisms.
The use of the thermal interposer assembly 200 of the present disclosure provides several advantages for the cooling and temperature management of personal computer adapter cards, circuit boards, or other electronic components. By removably coupling the modular cold plate assembly 100 to a thermal interposer assembly 200 which, in turn, is in thermal contact with the various heat sources on an adapter card 10 or circuit board, the design of the liquid cooling system (not shown) may be standardized and simplified. By facilitating a common cold plate assembly 100 to be used with different thermal interposer assemblies 200, modifying the cooling system is made easier. For example, in order to use a cold plate assembly 100 that was used to cool a first computer adapter card to cool a second computer adapter card (having a different configuration), only the thermal interposer assembly 200 (or one or more of the planar bodies of the assembly) needs be modified. This in turn, reduces development and production cycles, as well as production costs. Replacement or addition of adapter cards 10, to a system does not require breech or modification of the liquid coolant circulation pathways. Modular cold plate assembly 100 provides a standardized component which may be disconnected from a thermal interposer assembly 200 and re-installed in a different thermal interposer assembly without removal from the liquid coolant system or breach of the liquid coolant pathways, thereby reducing the risk of coolant loss, leaks, or the introduction of air into the system."
You could have, I don't know, googled it.
Going by the description this more of a cooling system with general purpose water cooling blocks that can be snapped onto and off of components on a whim rather then the more purpose built blocks we see now . It also includes provisions for transferring heat from VRMs and RAM to the water cooling block using an appropriate set of heatpipes and card cooler. I don't think this is anything to really worry about, someone making a universal cooler is an interesting step forward but we'll have to see.
I will give it a year or two until we are at that point of customization and 360-420mm rads AOIs will not be worth it in my opinion. Have it simple if you need it, expand to make it more complex if needed.