Thursday, March 17, 2011

GE's new phase-change based thermal conductor could mean cooler laptops -- literally

It's no secret: if your laptop sits atop your lap for an extended period of time, you're going to get burned -- okay, so maybe not burned, but you're definitely going to feel the heat. Luckily GE has been working (under contract for DARPA) on a new phase-change based thermal conductor that promises to cool electronics twice as well as copper, at one-fourth the weight. The breakthrough means big things for those of us who'd like to make babies one day, but we doubt that's why DARPA's shelling out the big bucks -- the new material functions at 10 times normal gravity, making it a shoo-in for on-board computing systems in jetliners. Using "unique surface engineered coatings" that simultaneously attract and repel water, the new nanotechnology could mean not only lighter, cooler electronics, but also an increase in computing speeds. Goodbye scrotal hyperthermia, hello cool computing! Full PR after the break. 
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