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Physicists develop a cooling system for the processors of the future

25.01.2016 | MIPT | mipt.ru

Researchers from MIPT have found a solution to the problem of overheating of active plasmonic components. These components will be essential for high-speed data transfer within the optoelectronic microprocessors of the future, which will be able to function tens of thousands of times faster than the microprocessors currently in use today.

In the paper published in ACS Photonics the researchers have demonstrated how to efficiently cool optoelectronic chips using industry-standard heatsinks in spite of high heat generation in active plasmonic components. The speed of multicore and manycore microprocessors, which are already used in high-performance computer systems, depends not so much on the speed of an individual core, but rather on the time it takes for data to be transferred between the cores.

Cooling for the processors of the future

The electrical copper interconnects used in microprocessors today are fundamentally limited in bandwidth, and they cannot be used to maintain the continuing growth of the processor performance. In other words, doubling the number of cores will not double the processing power.

Dmitry Fedyanin and Andrey Vyshnevyy, researchers at MIPT’s Laboratory of Nanooptics and Plasmonics, have found a solution to this problem. They have demonstrated that using high-performance thermal interfaces, i.e. layers of thermally conductive materials placed between the chip and the cooling system to ensure efficient heat removal from the chip, (thermal grease is a popular type of thermal interface, although it is not very efficient) high-performance optoelectronic chips can be cooled using conventional cooling systems.

Read more at MIPT

Image Credit: MIPT

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