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In fact, in a future microprocessor design IBM is exploring — in which chips are stacked vertically to save space and enhance performance, rather than arrayed next to each other — the heat-to-volume ratio exceeds that of a nuclear reactor.
To address that, IBM researchers say they could pipe water in between chips that are sandwiched together. The system, which IBM planned to explain Thursday at a technical conference, uses pipes that are just 50 microns wide — 50 millionths of a meter.