Cooligy's approach - called Active Micro-Channel Cooling (AMC) - involves scoring hundreds of tiny channels into a silicon layer placed on the upper surface of the chip package. Water - or any other fluid, for that matter - circulates through the channels drawing heat away from the core.To move liquid through the system, Cooligy uses an electro-kinetic pump with no moving parts. For more on Cooligy's electro-kinetic pump, see this story.
The company claims AMC can cool a CPU by up to 1000W per square cm. The best a passive system can manage, it says, is 250W per square cm.
Though Cooligy's technology seems pretty advanced, it might not be all that far off from production. The company has already prototyped systems with Intel, AMD, and Apple, and expects to have qualification samples ready before the end of the year. Cooligy's technology could potentially be leveraged to help keep the next generation of toasty high-end processors cool, but AMC and that silent electro-kinetic pump could also work well in more mainstream systems and also laptops.