Water cooling gets even quieter

— 12:30 PM on August 25, 2003

New Scientist has an interesting story on a new silent water pump that has no moving parts. The pump was designed specifically for PC cooling and uses "electro osmosis" to propel water through the system.

It consists of a disc of glass two millimetres thick and five centimetres in diameter. This is riddled with little tubes, about one micron in diameter, which pass from one flat side of the disc to the other.

Applying an electric charge across the disc interacts with charged layers on the surface of the pores and causes ions to migrate. These drag water molecules along in the process, creating a flow.

The pump is capable of producing a flow rate of 200 milliliters per minute, which will apparently be enough to cool chips dissipating as much as 120 watts of heat per square centimeter. With reports that Intel's upcoming Prescott processor will dissipate nearly 103 watts, I have to wonder how long it will be before high-end PCs offer water cooling as an alternative to noisier fans. Water-cooled Dells are probably a ways off, but I can see smaller OEMs trying to make a name for themselves by bringing silent water cooling to more mainstream markets.
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