back to article Miracle mono-molecule material could quench hot chips

Boffins working in California say that in five years' time chips and elctronics may be designed with special heat-extracting layers composed of an unusual form of carbon, so reducing the hot-thighs syndrome becoming more and more prevalent among modern laptop users. The material in question is graphene, a sheet of carbon just …


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  1. jemdiggity

    No reprieve for your hot lap!

    Cooling the chip down isn't going to help your hot lap one bit. The case temperature of the laptop is determined by the thermal resistance between the laptop case and the surrounding air -- which isn't changing. The chip might have a lower temperature but as long as it is dissipating the same amount of power, the laptop will get just as hot.

  2. Steven Knox

    How does this help?

    "Graphene is one of the hottest materials right now,"

    But I thought we were trying to make our chips cooler...

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: How does this help?


  3. Stevie Silver badge


    But once you've got the heat out of the chips, where do you send it? You have to put it somewhere or the keys will melt.

    I predict the new generation of laptops with this graphene nonsense built-in will have small telescopic chimneys that can be extended to duct the heat harmlessly over the user's head and onto the flammable luggage items in the aeroplane overhead bins or into the faces of standing passengers on the train.

    Soon a plane full of laptop users will look like the opening sequence from Blade Runner.

  4. Anton Ivanov

    This is news?

    I remember reading about the anomalous heat conduction by graphite (it is extremely conductive along layers, but not across) as far back as high school in the 80-es. The question is still open how to create a perfect layer of it though. Unless these guys have found a method and published it this is hardly news.

  5. censored

    I want some!

    I bet it's mind-blowing to hold a material with only 2 dimensions...

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: only 2 dimensions

      So, you like Möbius strips, too?

  6. Bassey

    Might have this wrong

    This doesn't appear to solve the "hot thighs" issue at all. This is all about getting the heat out of the silicone and into the case/laptop. You are then left with the problem of how to get the heat out of the case/laptop. In fact, if I did understand the article (and it's nearly 5pm so the odds are poor) this would make the hot thighs problems worse as the graphene layer would be better at taking heat from the silicon and so would put more heat into the case/laptop.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Ah, this was solved aeons ago..

    By the miracle that is asbestos...

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      And The $78 (Per Click) Word... Mesotheleoma.

  8. I didn't do IT.

    Time to market

    I think I need to reference the time table for when research actually gets into products...

    So... yeah...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hot thighs a thing of the past?

    PFFFTTT! I say. Some things never go out of demand.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Read the abstract

    It explains what happens if you make the graphene layer too thick. While you might think thicker layer -> more material to conduct heat in *fact* the thermal conductivity *drops* by roughly 1/2. They explain partly why, and why you want to operate with 2 layers (2800 w m^2) Vs 4 layers (1300 w m^2)

    Incidentally this implies that their is a *maximum* power you can put into such a layer. Too much and you can't get it moved with just this bilayer.

    As for all the oh so smart comments about warm laps it's also about *spreading* the heat load. That processor is what 1 inch square? That's 1/94 the area of an A4 page, The surface might be close to 150c, but there is (in theory) *more* than enough area to drop that temp right down.

    BTW The idea of Asbestos just stops your legs getting warm. You still have to dump the heat *somewhere*.

    I think as a super heat conductor this is a bit of a red herring. It might have other materials properties. Graphene and other "Diamondoid" materials were predicted to be *major* product of a working nanotechnological production system. OTOH work on high emissivity coatings (radiating the heat at *high* efficiency in the infra red band) *might* pay dividends.

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