The Inquirer reminisces about the days before the the heatsink, when a heatspreader was all a CPU needed.  Now we are placing 1lb blocks of copper on the CPU’s, and they are only getting hotter, especially with work on 3 dimensional processors.  Find out what the future may hold.
“Do you still remember those days when, say, 386DX or 486DX model digits, speed and all other numbers – the same for Motorola 68030 on the Mac – could be read off easily from the ceramic CPU package, any time during the operation?

Well, that golden or rather green age ended with Intel’s 486DX2. From that point on, the combination of increased number of transistors, clock speed and die size obliterated any semiconductor process and low voltage benefits to rapidly increase the power requirement and resulting heat output on all PC-class CPUs, including the mobile ones. So, for the past two years, whether you’re with Intel or AMD, you knew you need to allocate at least 100W, and up to 170W now, for the top-end CPU. With that power, along come some extraordinary heat to remove.”

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