I’ve just read a piece on X-Bit Labs about agreement between AMD GPG and Celsia Technologies. The two companies are developing new generation of coolers for future ATI Radeon graphics cards.
After Sapphire successfully used vapor chamber cooling on their Atomic 3870 card (with a certain glitch, described here), ATI took a limited risk and introduced vapor chamber on Radeon 4870X2. As you can see on picture above, GPU0 on 4870X2 is cooled by vapor-chamber cooler, while GPU1 is cooled by the same copper cooler present on 3870X2.
Now, Celsia Technologies is developing new coolers that will send conventional heat-pipe technology into oblivion. On paper, vapor chamber provides up to 30% higher performance. If you combine 30% higher performance cooling with thermal advancements by TSMC in upcoming 40nm and 32nm processes, you don’t have to be a genius to conclude that next two or three generations of ATI GPU will feature even more dramatic performance increase than between 3800 and 4800 series of cards.
You want to hear the best part? NanoSpreader (market name for Celsia’s vapor chamber cooler) actually costs less than conventional heatpipe design, because it uses less material. Less material also equals less weight. Finally, graphics cards are going on a diet.
One thing is certain – with this technology, ATI can freely push single-slot or light dual-slot designs with their next-generation hardware. This is some food for thought for engineers at Nvidia.