UW Engineer Uses Ionic Wind To Create Cooling Chip

SeattlePI has a story on-line that talks about a Ukrainian-born professor from the University of Washington that's been working a method to cool computer chips using an ionic wind. It may sound like something out of Star Trek, but ionic winds are relatively easy to generate, and have been put to use in a number of different things from basic "lifters" to the Ionic Breeze air filtration units you see offered on TV. If incorporated into the design of future processors, this technology could help cool a chip from the inside out.

"A corona discharge is basically the product of some seriously electrified (or more accurately, "ionized") air molecules, also known as a plasma. St. Elmo's fire, which electrical storms sometimes create around wires or poles, is a form of corona discharge or plasma -- one that sailors have witnessed for as long as there have been boats with masts. Besides sometimes creating visible light and wreaking electrical havoc, corona discharges make the ionized air molecules move. A popular high-tech air cleaner made by Sharper Image uses this phenomenon in a fan-filter combination sold on late-night TV."

And all this time I thought "corona discharge" was something that happened after one too many beers...

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