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Microprocessor Curiousities

By John Connell ·
I read today that many experts believe that microprocessors will run at 10GHz to 30GHz and be capable of processing 1 trillion operations per second in about 10 years. But, IF the heat management components of processors stays the same, the heat produced by these things will be be, for a microprocessor's proportional size, as much as a nuclear reactor.

Because I know very little about micro-architecture I am very curious about the issue of heat. My foremost curiousity is this:

Why do these little things produce heat? I've heard of servers melting when air conditioning units shut down!

Secondly, if heat is a by-product of a computer running, couldn't there be some use for it? Does anyone know of any research or development taking place in dealing with the heat issue? I'd like to think that this by-product could be somehow beneficial. But, then again, I did say that I know very little about these things.

I would appreciate any feedback about microprocessors and the heat thatthey produce.


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