#2362: BladeBoard

Cooling computing equipment is a significant headache. It’s also a prime example of one of my particular bugbears: using random electronics engineers to design mechanical equipment.

Every odd-shaped electronic connector with graunched pins is evidence of that crappy practice (or snapped-off battery clip…I’m looking at you, Lenovo).


Today’s invention is an advance in the area of electronic cooling.

Instead of having up to five fans per desktop machine, the idea is to create a motherboard in the shape of a fan. Power would be fed in via a set of central slip rings.

Twisting the blades would cause throughflow (the thermal advantage being that, unlike spot cooling, there would be no stagnation points).


  1. Cool!
    in practice a motherboard (which is a rectangle) should have 2 “fan-boards” that rotate CW & CCW to prevent your laptop spinning.
    design = [OO]

    What about passive cooling? The chips are so small you can make many redundant components and if one gets hot the laptop switches to a similar cool unit?

    • Yep you got me on the need for counter-rotation 😉

      I’m not sure I understand your second point. Aren’t chips of all kinds pretty expensive? If they were dirt cheap, you could have a magazine of them and fire them in and out, just as they were about to die from overheating.

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