Researchers discover photonic cooling tech which makes chips emit more heat to keep cooler

Written by Neil Soutter on Sun, Mar 1, 2020 4:00 PM

One of the biggest enemies of tech advancement is the heat generated by components. Keep it cool and you keep on trucking. Let it get hot and your hardware is shot. We’ve got all sorts of cooling solutions out there right now, from your bog-standard fan-assisted to liquid cooling and even liquid nitrogen for the extreme overclockers. However, a team of researchers at Stanford University may have gone one better.

The researchers have come up with a theoretical method to manipulate heat radiation in order to boost cooling. In a nutshell, they believe causing an object to radiate extra heat is a new way to encourage cooling.

Let’s start with the basics.  Heat is radiated in and out of a device through photons. All objects, such as computer chips, radiate heat when used, as well as receiving heat from the environment around it. Typically, computer cooling solutions work by trying to cool the environment around the hardware, dissipating the heat.

Stanford researchers have come up with a theoretical device which could be used to boost the outgoing radiation heat from a device. The so-called ‘photonic generator’ would be placed on the surface of an object, raising the frequency of the radiated photons and therefore allowing each photon to carry more heat away. Low-energy photons go in, high energy photons go out.

The device itself would be a heat insulator which could be wrapped in thin layers around PC gaming hardware. Together with a light source, it would vibrate the photons of heat and cause the device to emit more heat, cooling the device more effectively.

In essence, what we’re looking at here is a reversal of the traditional heat exchange between hardware objects. At the moment, such tech is still in the theoretical stage, although the researchers believe they can construct an engineered diode which could rival just about any thermoelectric cooling system out there right now.

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
49
Offline
01:22 Mar-03-2020

The concept only seems strange if you have no understanding of what temperature really is, which unfortunately seems to be the case for the vast majority of people. To a certain extent, there is no such thing as cold. There are only levels of heat, starting at none and moving upward. Temperature is a reflection of molecular energy (oversimplified, but close enough) which is why there is such thing as absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
01:35 Mar-03-2020

I think we've all had physics in the 7th grade. XD

0
Rep
49
Offline
01:36 Mar-03-2020

You'd think so. But I actually know a guy who was able to perfectly explain to me how the radiator on his truck functioned, but refused to believe that a refrigerator didn't "create" cold.....

0
Rep
49
Offline
01:36 Mar-03-2020

Systems like a refrigerator function not by "making" cold, but rather by removing heat. To create anything requires energy, but cold is the antithesis of that function, and this is why absolute zero is so difficult to achieve. On the other hand, there isn't technically an upper limit to how "hot" it can get, but past a certain point physics kind of breaks. Above 10^32 Kelvin the gravitational force exerted by each particle can become as strong as the electroweak force.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
01:52 Mar-03-2020

Yeah, it's strange to think that people don't know such basic physics, it's common knowledge, no?


And I'm not a fan of integrating and diffirating everything, but even the so called "advanced/university" physics is easy to learn. What is hard is discovering it and putting it in a mathematical model.

0
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
12:49 Mar-02-2020

For those that care to know more about alternative cooling solutions check out the link below.
Cooling


I'm personally quite interested in the Thermosyphon. Linus make a video about it a few weeks ago I believe.

0
Rep
17
Offline
admin approved badge
10:31 Mar-02-2020

Soon it'll be called the Enterprise and have to fight klingons xP This is real cool tech tho.

3
Rep
-4
Offline
06:07 Mar-02-2020

Oi, thats a neat little trick you got there. But nothing beats the good old bare cpu.

0
Rep
105
Offline
02:37 Mar-02-2020

Looks cool, but i dont think i will suffer from overheating as im pretty much overclocking my CPU only to 3.8 Ghz and temps never go avobe 55 C and never tinker with GPus voltages until it cant play a game at low 1080p 30 fps.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
18:43 Mar-01-2020

Yay more heat conduction for the win! Bring us 500W GPUs and 250W BIG CORE CPUs that can be cooled properly! XD

7
Rep
94
Offline
18:06 Mar-01-2020

The device itself would be a heat insulator which could be wrapped in thin layers around PC gaming hardware. I like how it's dedicated for "pc gaming hardware", as if "normal" hardware wouldn't profit from this. But this reminds me of those pads where you can apply a voltage to it, one side will be cold, other side warm. It somewhat achieves the same, it just transfers heat from one side to the other side.

0
Rep
49
Offline
16:16 Mar-01-2020

Sounds cool . . . PHOTONIC !

0

Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-6500 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1060 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Asus Phoenix OC 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Gigabyte Windforce 2X OC 3GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-12700K 16-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X Radeon RX 550X 4GB 24GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10600KF 6-Core 4.10GHz Radeon RX 580 Asus Dual 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 8GB