Cooling electronics has always been a bit of a catch-22 as far as we're concerned. You go too far and the solution becomes far too noisy, not enough and things start to cook. Where water cooling offers the best of both, you have to leave system mobility at the door as once it’s up and running, it’s most certainly not moving. General Electric (GE) have taken a different approach. Using a method inspired by our own lungs, it's developed a miniature set of bellows they’re calling 'Dual Piezoelectric Cooling Jets' for the next-generation of gadgets.
Initially developed for us in aircraft jets – to boost airflow over airfoils in aircraft engines - GE has instead opted to push the technology out into the mass market for other electronic devices as well. Consisting of two ceramic plates (each just 1mm tall) that rapidly expand and contract when electricity is applied to their surface, the cooling system works by expanding to draw streams of hot air in, and contracts forcing cooler air out. Not only does the system produce a consistent air-flow much quieter than normal, GE says it's more than 50-percent smaller and far more energy-efficient than current cooling systems.
To this end, it predicts we’ll start to see this kind of system embedded in new laptops, tablets or any other electronic devices as soon as 2014, and is in talks with OEMs to have them rolled out globally.