Carbon fiber -- what can't it do. The super-material is now venturing into the world of computer cooling, thanks to Sony.
The electronics giant just showed off a prototype of a new cooling sheet, made of silicon packed tightly with carbon fiber, that would take the place of thermal grease in conducting heat away from the processor towards a heatsink. According to Tech-On!, the sheet -- poetically known as the EX20000C -- is a mere 2 millimeters at its thickest point, and its thermal resistance is a mere fraction (making it a much better conductor) of the previous EX50000 (pictured).
In its trade show demo, the EX2000C was able to lower a processor's temperature 3°C cooler than thermal grease, though it's unclear what kind of paste was being used in the test (specialty products are superior than generic grease). In theory it should also be easier to "apply" the sheet than spreading thermal paste. Sony says previous iterations also help to dampen noise, so presumably the EX2000C could provide a bit of noise reduction as a bonus.
As you might expect, if the EX2000C were to come to market, it would start out as a server-based solution, though it could be used with higher-end processors -- or even licensed out to cooling specialists to sell as an accessory. Something for enthusiasts to keep an eye on in the future as they try to wring as much performance out of their systems as possible without overheating it.