Inside a research lab at the University of Michigan, there’s an Intel chip covered in wax.
It’s a Core i7 microprocessor — the same chip that runs many of today’s desktop and laptop PCs — and the wax is stuffed into a metal mesh surrounding this tiny sliver of silicon. When someone cranks the chip well beyond its recommended speeds, the wax absorbs the extra heat coming off the silicon, and at 54 degrees Celsius, it starts to melt.
No, it’s not a party trick. It’s a look into the future of the tiny processors that run on our smartphones and tablets. This waxed chip is a prototype, a test system built to solve an engineering problem threatening to shackle the performance of our computer chips.
Read more at Wired.