IBM developing ‘electronic blood’ to cool and power computers.
IBM Research is exploring the use of liquid coolant to cool and power powerful the exascale speed computers of the future.
“We are taking a new approach inspired by the brain,” said IBM Research scientist Bruno Michel. “Neurons are both cooled and powered by the blood, and by copying this packaging technique in the brain we hope to achieve a 5,000-times energy efficiency improvement by compacting the volume of our devices by several million times.”
“If you analyze a typical microchip, only one part per million is used for transistors that perform its functions, while 98 percent is used for cooling. But in the brain, 40 percent of its volume is performing functions, 50 percent is interconnections, and only 10 percent is used for cooling,” said Michel. “We want to produce computers closer to this ratio.”
Exascale computers are required (among other things) to be able to analyse data in real-time from the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, due to be completed in 2024.