General Electric scientists appear to have developed technology that may be the next cool thing for laptops and tablets. Initially intended for power generation in gas and wind turbines, and for aviation applications, GE has adopted an advancement that it calls DCJ, or Dual Piezoelectric Cooling Jets, for consumer electronics applications.
Providing more than ten times the heat transfer of unaided natural convection, DCJs work as micro-fluidic bellows that pump high-velocity air jets to cool tablet or laptop parts. The head Electronics Cooling Researcher at GE Global Research is Peter de Bock, and he is convinced of the technology's future, saying: "Over the past 18 months we have addressed many challenges adapting this technology in areas of acoustics, vibration, and power consumption such that the DCJ can now be considered as an optimal cooling solution for ultra-thin consumer electronics products."
He may have good reasons for optimism. The DCJ bellows could be adopted by PC manufacturers because the device not only uses about half the power compared to a laptop fan, but also at only 4mm is about half the height or thickness, thereby facilitating either thinner laptops and tablets, or enabling more components to be squeezed into the same space. That's particularly important because as Chris Giovanniello, VP Microelectronics & Thermal Business Development at GE Licensing said: "With new tablet and netbook road-maps moving to platforms measuring less than 6mm high, it is clear that consumers are demanding thinner and more powerful electronic devices." Additionally the DCJ is almost silent in most consumer product applications.
General Electric has already licensed the DCJ technology to Fujikura LTD, a company that specializes in thermal management solutions for electronics, energy, telecom, and automotive products, and GE is offering demonstration kits for manufacturers so they can evaluate DCJ technology for upcoming tablets and laptops.
The DCJ advancement is reminiscent of the Sandia Cooler Air Bearing Heat-Sink-Impeller, another recent development that may soon appear in a laptop near you.
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