CPU fans have a certain steampunkian quality to them. They’re loud, annoying, and collect all sorts of debris as they run, whirring endlessly and eventually failing. This new heatsink – more like an impeller coupled with a brushless motor – is the latest in heatsink technology and promises quiet and efficient heatsinkery in the future.
Built by Sandia, this cooling system could cool CPUs or even lighting. Because it consists of only three pieces – the fins, the base, and a motor – the headsink could offer maintenance free cooling for years. It actually blows dust out of its own crevices as it spins and with the right calculations you could make this bigger or smaller for various implementations.
To see the heatsink in action, fast forward to about 2:30 and watch how this puppy whirrs. You can read more about the impeller at Sandia.gov.