Heat may finally prove useful in computing applications, a big turn around considering it has been the archenemy of designers and builders until this research came to light.  A one way thermal diode takes waste heat on a one way trip away from the heat source, a great boon to heatsink makers everywhere.  That is not the most impressive application, follow the link from Engadget and you will learn about the possible applications of this new technology, such as thermal transistors, thermal logic gates, and even thermal memory.

“Anyone who has tried their hand at overclocking recognizes just how evil waste heat is, and we’re guessing that one Wataru Kobayashi at Waseda University in Japan understands explicitly. He, along with a few colleagues, has recently devised a new diode that allows heat current to travel in one direction but not in the other. The breakthrough essentially paves the way for thermal computing to actually take off, with obvious applications including heat sinks for microprocessors. Kobayashi, who may or may not be able to eat a dozen hot dogs per minute in his spare time, also hopes that his discovery will lead to a thermal transistor, thermal logic gates and a thermal memory. The future’s yours, friend.”

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