Diamond Foundry, a company specializing in diamond technology, is experimenting with using diamonds to reduce the temperature of high-performance processors and video cards, writes The Wall Street Journal. The company reported that its tests on an undisclosed high-end NVIDIA graphics accelerator that used synthetic diamond wafers yielded impressive results. In its tests, Diamond Foundry used an ultra-thin diamond plate as a substrate for the chip, which allowed for increased heat dissipation.
The performance of the GPU allegedly tripled compared to when it was tested with standard production materials. These results promise significant progress in microchip cooling technology, but since the test data has not been published for independent verification, it is difficult to say how realistic it may be to implement synthetic diamonds in new processors and graphics cards.
However, the use of diamonds for chip cooling could solve the growing problem of heat management in increasingly compact and powerful electronic components. Diamond Foundry’s approach is to create single-crystal diamonds on scalable substrates using a technology called heteroepitaxy. Known for their exceptional thermal conductivity, diamonds are 17,200 times more efficient than silicon and 60 times better than silicon carbide for cooling.
While Diamond Foundry is exploring diamond wafers for chip design, Intel is exploring the use of glass substrates to increase efficiency and improve connectivity between chips. Diamond Foundry’s goal is to reduce the defect density in its diamond substrates and fully utilize the cooling capabilities of diamonds.