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Intel-led Team Demonstrates First Chip-Scale Thermoelectric Refrigerator

An integrated thermoelectric device cools a hot spot on a much larger chip

3 min read

28 January 2009—Researchers at Intel, Arizona State University in Tempe, RTI International, and Nextreme Thermal Solutions reported Sunday that a small thermoelectric device embedded in a chip package could cool a much larger chip. The thermoelectric chiller, a device that pumps heat when current flows through it, cooled a 0.16-square-millimeter hot spot on a 140-mm2 chip by nearly 15 °C. The researchers say it was the first demonstration of viable chip-scale refrigeration technology.

The prototype brings together two breakthroughs that different thermoelectric groups have hit upon over the past decade. First is the realization that nanoscale layers of thermoelectric material make for much more efficient cooling devices. And second, using thermoelectric heat pumps for cooling the hottest spots on a microprocessor is a much more energy-efficient approach than trying to cool the whole chip.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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