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The July 2000 issue of Mechanical Engineering explains a new and innovative design for a heat sink, a device used to dissipate heat energy away from a body. Engineers at NEC Computers Inc. of Boxborough, Mass. came up with the design while trying to engineer a heat sink that would protect a computer processor running at high speeds. The new heat sink has the pins, surfaces extended from the main body that are used to increase the rate of heat transfer by increasing surface area, arranged in four rows with pin size increasing in width and height from front to back. The article?s claim of fact is that by locating the smallest pins up front reduces the probability of an air dam forming at the leading edge, where air flow is maximum and cooling demands minimum (Cooling Solutions 79).

The article begins by stating the problem of cooling today?s hotter, faster central processing units. Next, it gives the parameters of the design; it must protect a computer running at 600 megahertz if one of two redundant systems fans fail. Then, it lets the audience know how the engineers began their design by using computer modeling and testing prototype. This information gathered from the models leads to the unconventional design. Finally, the article explains why the design works. The order in which the information is presented makes the article easy to read and understand. This is an excellent choice of organization because of the articles audience of engineers. The order used here is similar to the method used by engineers to analyze a system for design. Many formal design reports are also organized in this manner.

For anyone involved in the thermal sciences, this article is exciting and informative. A glimpse of the future of heat sink designs is shown in the article. Any engineer that wants to insure that they have the best design will take notice of this article and seek further information about the design. Sharing this new information helps to improve future designs of all heat transferring devices.

I thought the authors presented the design very well. The article was easy for myself, an undergraduate, to follow; I am sure a professional engineer would have no problems understanding it. The information coincides with what I am currently studying in one of my classes. So by reading this article, I was able to see how what is taught in the classroom is applied to real designs. While reading the article, though, I thought that diagrams of the airflow patterns around different sections of the sink should have been included. Also I thought the percent increase in the rate of heat transfer versus the cost of the new design should have been given. This information would give the audience a better idea of the advantages of the new design over traditional designs.


?Cooling Solution?. Mechanical Engineering. July 2000: 78-79.

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