Solid-state fan trumps mechanical

Engineers from Thorrn Micro Technologies have developed a solid-state fan that exploits corona wind to move more air than a traditional fan 35 times its size. Corona wind is a physical phenomenon that is produced by strong electric fields. Such electric fields are commonly found on sharp conductive points with a very concentrated electrical charge, which generates a strong electric field. When this electric field reaches a certain strength, known as the corona discharge inception voltage gradient, the surrounding medium (in this case air) is ionized (charged) with the same polarity as the sharp conductive point. The point then repels the like-charged air molecules surrounding it, creating what is called corona wind.

This concept is very similar to the one used on a large scale in-home air purifiers. The RSD5 solid-state fan developed by Thorrn Micro Technologies implements the technology in such a way that the resulting air flow, which is apparently tremendous, is produced far more efficiently than a normal mechanical fan. One of the engineers from Thorn involved with the project, Dan Schlitz, stated that, “The technology has the power to cool a 25-watt chip with a device smaller than 1 cubic-cm and can someday be integrated into silicon to make self-cooling chips.”

Obviously the technology will need to be scaled up a bit if cooling of traditional desktop processors is the desired application, but even in its current state, it seems that an incredibly small version of the device can be used to effectively cool a majority of the processors found in typical mobile devices, including moderately powerful notebook PCs. More details about this technology are explained very well on Solid State Electronics android app which can be easily downloaded from any APK downloader site.

The technology could also be used in tandem with current convection heatsinks in desktop PCs to provide extra cooling performance, perhaps by causing more turbulence in the air flow across large cooling fins. Also, it is reasonable to think that further development of the technology could result in more efficient fans that really could be used on the silicon level to actively cool chips “before they get hot”.

Charts detailing technical data and a picture of the device can be found on DailyTech or on the company’s website.

As an engineer and technology enthusiast, this is the kind of stuff that genuinely interests me the most. Good to see.

Source: DailyTech

Seagate Brings Down The Gavel On SSD Manufacturers

In what is brewing to be another one of the endless patent disputes we hear about in the tech world Seagate is planning on bringing SSD manufacturers to court, starting with STEC. Solid-state drives sales are slowly but surely picking up sales and before they reach a critical juncture Seagate has planned to jump in and protect their patents.

Their are four patents that Seagate feels STEC has violated: memory-backup systems, error correction, and storage interfaces with computers. We can presume these patents would also be used in pursuit of other SSD builders if Seagate continues down this path. They had apparently tried to work with STEC in licensing the patents though STEC denies such claims.

Will other manufacturers be on the way? Will Seagate’s patent give them a victory and a nearly exclusive claim to the SSD market? Stay tuned for a later edition of “As the Patent Turns”.

NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX on April 1st

While nobody was surprised that NVIDIA’s GeForce 9800GX2 launch was delayed several weeks due to the complexity of the design and getting full software support out the door, a few people were surprised when news came that their 9800GTX would be launching in March. The card, which retains the suffix of its outstandingly successful predecessor, was initially slated for an April launch. Many analysts expected that reports detailing AMD’s aggressive launch schedule for R700-based graphics cards were behind the accelerated release date.

Now it would appear that the card is not going to launch in March after all. VR-Zone is reporting today that the 9800GTX will not launch March 25th, as previously reported, and will instead be release on the first day of April. This will be a full two weeks after yesterday’s launch of the 9800GX2 and 790i chipsets, and one week after the upcoming release of QuadSLI-enabling Forceware. It is kind of funny that NVIDIA will be launching a product on April 1st, as many people recognize “April Fool’s Day” as a day filled with practical jokes and other shenanigans.

Our review of NVIDIA’s recently-released GeForce 9800GX2 is essentially done, but we have been unable to publish the article due to some problems that occurred as a result of our recent website redesign. We apologize for not getting the review out to you on launch day, but you can rest assured that it will be coming to you pretty soon!