Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)

LOOK UP ANOTHER TERM


heat pipe

A tubular device that is very efficient in transferring heat. Using a metal container (aluminum, copper, etc.) that holds a liquid (water, acetone, etc.) under pressure, the inner surface of the tube is lined with a porous material that acts as a wick. When heat is applied to the outer area of the tube, the liquid inside the tube boils and vaporizes into a gas that moves through the tube seeking a cooler location where it condenses. Using capillary action, the wick transports the condensed liquid back to the evaporation area. See heat sink.




How It Works
A variety of liquids and wicks are used to make a heat pipe, but the principle is the same. The liquid evaporates into a gas that travels to the cooler end of the pipe, condenses back into liquid and returns via the wick.






A CPU Cooler
In this high-end TNN500A computer cabinet from Zalman (www.zalmanusa.com), the heat pipe transfers the heat from the CPU to the wall of the case, which acts as a giant heat sink. This combination of heat pipe and case eliminates the need for a noisy fan.






heat sink

A material that absorbs heat. Typically made of aluminum, heat sinks are widely used in amplifiers and other electronic devices that build up heat. Small heat sinks are the most economical method for cooling microprocessors and other chips. They are commonly found glued or clipped to the top or the side of the chip package. See heat pipe, CPU cooler and thermal grease.




Heat Sink on a Chip
This type of heat sink is glued to the top of the chip, typically a CPU chip, which generates considerable heat.






Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
BeforeAfter
heapheat sink
heap managementheat sink paste
heap spaceheat sync
hearablesheat transfer compound
hearing loopheavy lifting
heartbeatHEDIS
HeartbleedHEDT
heat fusingHEIF
heat mapheight speaker
heat pasteHeisenbug

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
Audio/VideoGraphics
MainframesSecurity
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design