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Another major focus for IBM Zurich is research into ways of dissipating heat from microprocessors.
Heat has been an issue in computing since the days of mainframes when methods like water cooling were used to try and keep processors from melting. It remains a problem today, even though manufacturers have tried a range of possible solutions from complex fans and air cooling to massive heat sinks.
Dr Bruno Michel, manager for advanced thermal packaging, and his team are working on a procedure that uses a combination of techniques to find more effective cooling. The secret is all in the packaging -- Dr Michel's team are working on a chip package that puts a thermal paste directly on the processor and then attaches a heat sink that can dissipate some of the heat.
This picture shows a chip (left) with thermal paste added and a copper heat dissipater attached. The liquid cooling attachment (shown right) is also experimental.
Dr Michel and his team are testing many different pastes that can be used as adhesives for attaching processors and have great heat dissipation properties. As you would expect, he does not want to talk about the different pastes they use.