Apple has filed two patents bringing liquid-cooling to increasingly powerful (and hot) laptop computers. Once the domain of massive number-crunchers, liquid-cooled notebooks foresee a day when quad-core processors and better video overwhelms current fan-driven cooling.
In its U.S. Patent Office applications, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple outlined an active and passive liquid-cooling process.
The active liquid-cooling process involves bathing circuits, the heat relieved via fins. A more inexpensive passive liquid-cooling procedure would include a heat sink located behind the laptop’s display. Moving the heat away from the computer’s body could solve the dilemma of an overheated lap.
Although Apple is first to patent liquid-cooling for laptops, the method has been used in the past by other computer makers to dissipate the nearly 100 watts of heat produced by laptops.
In 2007, HP unveiled a line of Voodoo laptops which used water instead of fans to cool the gaming machines. Hitachi and Toshiba have also investigated water-cooled portables.