IBM promises cooler chips with capillary-action and water jets

IBM's Zurich labs have developed a new heatsink and water-cooling that promises to cool chips up to six times better than conventional air cooling. The heatsink contains tiny channels similar to the capillaries you would see in tree leaves and in human circulator systems. The channels allow either water or heatsink compound to spread more uniformly and thereby dissipate more heat.

The new heatsink would replace the traditional flat surfaced heatsink. Computer builders have been using these heatsinks for years, but IBM promises the new sinks will remove heat up to two times better.

IBM has also developed a new water-cooling device that uses 50,000 miniature nozzles to squirt water directly to the chip body in a closed-loop system. Traditional water-cooling systems have flowed anti-freeze-based liquids over a heatsink connected to the CPU.

IBM is in talks to license the technology and could produce the new heatsinks in about one year.