Researchers use "ionic wind" to cool computer chips

A team of researchers at Purdue University look to be doing their best to put conventional computer cooling techniques to shame, to that end developing a prototype system that uses an "ionic wind" to keep chips cool, something they say could eventually allow for much more powerful computers. According to the BBC, the system employs an ionic engine that produces positively charged particles when a voltage is applied to it. Those particles are then naturally drawn to a negatively charged wire, resulting in a constant air movement over the chips. That, the researchers say, increases the cooling rate from a conventional fan by up to 250%. They're apparently far from satisfied with the system just yet though, and they're now working to make it a hundred times smaller than its current size -- a feat all the more daunting considering that it already measures just a few millimeters.

[Thanks, Xander and Del Monte]