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Improved Foul-less Heatsink Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032191D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue



For the last few years, processor thermal specifications have begun to drive the industry to very high aspect ratio heatsinks. The aspect ratio of a heatsink is defined as the hieght of the fins divided by the fin gap (air space between fins). The predominant factor in the increasing aspect ratio in today's thermal cooling solution designs is the reduction of the fin gap, as opposed to the increase in fin height. Reducing the fin gap allows the designer to increase the area used for heat transfer to air. Blowers can then be used to force air through the reduce gaps due to their capabilites to overcome large pressure drops. The reduction of the air space between the fins, however, increases the rate in which fouling, or collection of particles and debris, occurs. Heatsink fouling leads to increased heatsink static pressures, reduced volumetric airflow rates, and increased temperatures...eventually leading to CPU throttling and CPU shutdown.

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Improved Foul-less Heatsink

The invention consists of a heatsink with adjacent fins of different geometries, and with these geometries being of distinct shape which will reduce the rate of fouling as air passes through the fins.

The advantage of this invention is that it reduces fouling rates of a heatsink with less surface area loss associated with existing solutions that address said issue. Also, air can be directed to locations that require more airflow.

Traditional foul-less heatsinks, example seen in Figure 1 below, surrender heatsink fin surface area in order to reduce the fouling of the heatsink. Our design takes into account the understanding that particles will be drawn towards and pass through areas of least resistance. Looking at Figure 2 below, it is noticable that the same gap in the fins will allow the pass-through of dust particles at the same rate as the traditional foul-less heatsink due to one, the stagnation point in the front of the heatsink due to the large copper core, and two, the fact that air and dust particles will take the path of least resistance through an element. The area of least resistance in Figure 2 is where the fins are cut back. Since we are not removing the fin area in front of the copper core, we are not removing as much surface area that is used for heat transfer.


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