Electronic Blood - WRBL

Electronic Blood

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IBM's new technology, dubbed "electronic blood," is probably decades from being widely implemented. But researchers have already demonstrated it in a lab setting. The fluid is charged with an electrical current and then flows to the computer's processors, which it cools while also discharging the electricity necessary to power them.

Present-day supercomputers are so large because the immense heat they generate means their chips can't be placed too closely together. But if equipped with liquid-based cooling and power systems, they could be stacked three-dimensionally, allowing the size of the computers to shrink dramatically.

For now, a "petaflop" supercomputer, capable of performing one quadrillion operations per second, takes up about half a football field. Using 3-D chip-stacking and electronic blood, IBM thinks that could be reduced to the size of a desktop computer.

At present, nearly half the energy these facilities consume goes to cooling the equipment using fans and other methods.
In less than 20 years, researchers predict that the world's fastest supercomputers will theoretically be able to perform a trillion billion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) operations per second, 300,000 times more than today.

The problem? Using current technology, IBM says, such a computer would consume more electrical energy than the world can produce.
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