Brilliant Spinning Heatsink Cools CPUs 30 Times More Efficiently

Most computers use a two-step process to cool the CPU. First, a heat exchanger pasted to the processor draws the warmth away. And then a combination of a heatsink and fans dissipate it away from the PC. But by merging those two steps into one, this spinning cooler ends up being greater than the sum of its parts.

The Sandia Cooler was developed by the Sandia National Labs who do enough research to know a thing or two about how to effectively cool a computer. The most interesting aspect of the cooler is that it doesn't attach directly to the CPU using thermal paste -- which isn't possible given it's always spinning. Instead, it sits a mere thousandth of an inch above the processor, which creates what's called an air bearing that's actually just as efficient at transmitting heat.

And as the heat moves from the CPU to the cooler, it's almost immediately blasted away via a series of fins spinning at 2000rpm. As a result, Sandia claims the system is at least 30 times more efficient at cooling a processor than traditional heatsink and fan methods.

And not only is it also far quieter, but the blades are spinning far too quickly to ever collect dust. So while it lets you safely overclock your system, it's also automatically keeping it clean at the same time. And maybe that's the real innovation here. [Sandia National Laboratories via Dvice]



    So does that mean it can't be fitted by a home PC builder, or will it find its own height from the CPU automatically.? Seems like it could be problematic to fit.

    Im guessing it has a base unit that slides over the cpu which dictates how high it sits above the cpu

    Seems like it's currently restricted to only be used in a PC and not laptops and other portable devices.

      Who Cares? It will cool 30 x better!! :D

    Seems that it not only cools well, but moves air well. Maybe I could install one in my girlfriend's car so I dont get thrown out next time I 'drop-one'

    Wow that would end any stray cables that accidentally fell near it

    but will it blend

      By the looks of it I think it would be the blender, as oppose the the blendee.

    My main concern is, I don't have issues with my CPU overheating. A GPU would be a more effective use, not that it couldn't be used on both CPU and GPUs.
    I'm also wondering how much strain will be put on the motor trying to run it up its idle speed. Would you see a short life time?

      The point is not to cool your current system Paul, the point is that chip manufacturers can clock there chips significantly faster, so much so that they would fail with a normal fan, but with one of these heatsink things they would run at a stable temperature.

    I bet this would be a pain to install. "Oh shit I got it a thousandth of an inch off" *CPU gets shredded*

    Want one for my 360 badly.

    That plus current setup = l33t

    For some strange reason I thought LED's didn't give of heat ?

      Small one don't give off much heat but big/powerful ones do. They are meaning things like car headlights, projectors and street lights.

    The mean life between failure would be interesting to know. Since there's suggestions of this being used in situations where a technician isn't going to have easy access (Street lights for example) and will this be incorporated into the LED bulb or as add on replaceable part to it?

    This sounds similar to dry gas seal technology in compressors. There will most likely be a fixed portion of plate or something that attaches directly to the CPU with paste or solder. The 'fan' portion will spin on this disc, with guides only for lateral movement (perhaps an internal axle). The 'gap' might be set by the spinning motion of the motor and fan. The mating surfaces of the 'disc' and 'fan' will have micrometer deep slots cut into it with certain profiles to create a higher pressure zone between the surfaces, giving the lift needed for the fan to work without friction. You should be able to install it yourself as you would with a normal heatsink if they made it like described above. They'll probably have guides to allow it to run in any orientation too. Upside down would be difficult to achieve though. Hate to model that!

    "And not only is it also far quieter, but the blades are spinning far too quickly to ever collect dust."

    so... my 2000RPM fan shouldn't collect any dust either?

    I'll have to let those rogue dust bunnies know.

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