A researcher at Sandia National Laboratories says he has created technology to disperse the heat generated within laptop computers more efficiently than today's cooling systems.

Sandia's Mike Rightley said he has developed tiny liquid-filled pipes that shift heat to the edge of the computer where air fins or a tiny fan can disperse it into the air.

Although chipmakers like Intel and several other computer and component makers have been using pipes to dispel heat for several years now, experts say the technology developed at Sandia is a refinement of existing systems. Current heat pipes are relatively bulky, analysts say, but this one is extremely fine-grained, allowing the tube to be a self-powered mechanism.

This development could lead to smaller and more efficient notebook computers as engineers and designers eliminate the space needed to house bulky and noisy fan cooling systems.

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