IBM Labs is taking water cooling to another level--and pumping water into each layer of a semiconductor via pipes as thin as a human hair.
If all goes well, IBM predicts that it can advance Moore's Law into the next decade and cut the electric bill of data centers, which are power intensive. IBM's news (statement) is the latest in a bevy of green data center announcements.
Here's the IBM explanation:
These so-called 3-D chip stacks -- which take chips and memory devices that traditionally sit side-by-side on a silicon wafer and stacks them together on top of one another -- presents one of the most promising approaches to enhancing chip performance beyond its predicted limits.
This follows IBM's leadership in advancing chip-stacking technology in a manufacturing environment a year ago, which shortens the distance information on a chip needs to travel by 1000 times, and allows for the addition of up to 100 times more channels, or pathways, for that information to flow compared to 2-D chips.
In English, IBM is taking cooling to the root of the energy problem--the semiconductor. In theory, IBM is dissipating heat at the chip-level so you won't need as much air conditioning too cool them.
Among the key points of IBM's experiment:
The next step for IBM is to optimize cooling systems for smaller chips and more interconnects. There's no word on when this research may actually make it into a product.