Researchers at GE Global Research under a DARPA contract have announced a new thermal material system for dissipating heat in advanced electronics that is far more effective than traditional copper.
According to the Dr. Tao Deng, the lead researcher on the project at GE, the new material is a phase-change material that was used in a prototype as a substrate for a chip.
With the all the work that is currently being done in the development of novel nanoscale materials for heat management of electronics (see, here and here) it seems that GE has set aside electronics for aviation as a market they are targeting with this technology.
In Dr. Teng’s blog discussing the technology a good deal of the description is devoted to how it performs in high gravity environments.
"In demonstrations, the prototype system has functioned effectively in a variety of electronics and application environments. We also subjected it to harsh conditions during testing and found it could successfully operate in extremely high gravity applications. More specifically, the prototype has operated in conditions that simulate more than 10 times the normal force of gravity! By comparison, this gravity force is more than four times greater than what someone would experience on the Mission Space ride at Disney."
I don’t recall any other new materials that were intended for heat management in computer chips spending so much time highlighting their functionality in high G’s without mentioning much in the way how much better their heat management is.
This preoccupation along with the DARPA contract leads me to suspect that we will likely see this in aerospace before we see in laptops.