IBM has shown a multi-layer CPU prototype that has a unique water cooling system.
Image credit: Ars Technica
The water cooling system works by pumping water through the various layers of the processor. The 3D processor is built not only horizontally like processors found in today’s computers but also vertically, improving efficiency and lowering power consumption. Unfortunately, multi-layer processors are more difficult to cool. Conventional cooling solutions would not work for a multi-layer processor like IBM’s.
IBM’s prototype has 100 micron high cooling layers between each layer of the CPU. IBM performed a test on the intercooled processor, and it was successful. 3D processors are still a long way off from becoming mainstream, but this is a step in the right direction.