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NEC Develops Water Cooling Notebook Module

NEC Corporation announced the development of a water-cooling module for notebook personal computers that employs a piezoelectric pump driving method. This water cooling-module enables a highly advanced, slim sized, notebook PC with minimal operating noise.

The water-cooling module uses a piezoelectric pump to drive the cooling liquid. This newly structured water-cooling module is developed by integrating the pump and the tank with the aluminum radiation plate that contains the water circulation channel.

Main features of NEC’s water-cooling module

(1) Through optimized design of the radiation plate and the ingenuity of the coolant passage configuration below the CPU attached area, a cooling performance of 80W (2 times that of conventional systems) is realized. Moreover, the optimized piezoelectric pump structure suppresses the operating noise up to the whisper level of about 30dB, in turn enabling highly efficient water-cooling performance.

(2) By development of a piezoelectric pump with higher water pressure and slimmer size (thickness 5mm), the thickness of the aluminum radiation plate that contains the water circulation channel is reduced to within 3 mm. The increase in the thickness of the chassis is reduced to 4mm, half that of conventional water-cooling methods.

(3) By integrating the aluminum radiation plate, the tank and the piezoelectric pump, ease of installation in personal computers and long-term reliability is achieved.

(4) Hermetical sealing is improved through the use of materials with little liquid permeability. In turn the size of the cooling liquid tank is reduced by 9/10 compared to conventional tanks.

Features of the conventional water-cooling system

(1) Water pressure of the electromagnetic centrifugal pump is relatively weak. If the thickness of the circulation channel is decreased, cooling-liquid flow is restricted.

(2) The system is difficult to install as the tank, pump and CPU attached area are all inter-connected to a metal pipe and a rubber tube.

(3) Installation of a large tank is necessary as cooling liquid seeps through the resin parts of the tank, pump and the connection tubes resulting in liquid reduction over time.

The water-cooling module developed by NEC is the slimmest model in the world. When installed in a notebook personal computer increase in thickness is minimized. In order to drive a conventional piezoelectric pump alternating voltage of 100V is necessary. However, with NEC’s water-cooling module system the pump can be driven with 5V of direct voltage. As a result it is easy to install in all IT equipment. This product is suitable not only for use in notebook PCs, but also in servers and desktop computers. It is expected that it will be positioned as a core technology for spreading the water-cooling system in IT equipment and that it will be used as an alternative to the conventional water-cooling heat sink and heat pipe.

NEC Personal Products, Ltd. plans to commercially produce the water-cooling module within two years. NEC aims to create a de-facto industry standard and will actively work towards licensing supply of its module technology to parties outside the NEC Group.

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