Why Your Next Smartphone Might Be Full of Wax
It might not just be your ears that are stuffed with wax for long-because researchers from the
In the process of trying to make processors more efficient, they've hit on an intriguing idea:
cover the chip in a mesh of wax
which, when the
Currently mobile chips tend to use a sub-set of their transistors most of the time to avoid overheating, just using a small central CPU most of the time and farming out other tasks to more specific processing units when they need to. The wax idea could provide a way of using more transistors, more of the time-and hopefully provide a massive speed bump, too.
The idea of "computational sprinting"-making use of all those transistors at once-has been floated for a few years, and the wax idea could make it a reality in mobile situations. In fact, the researchers believe they could run a chip at upto 100 watts for a short period, as long as their wax cooling system was their to absorb the heat.
Of course, it only buys short snatches of high performance: once the wax melts, its cooling efficiency is lost, and it needs to solidify again before the next sprint. But, hey, maybe that's enough. [ WIRED ]
Image by Steve Crang/Mike Hensel