IBM have been working out how to use liquid to simultaneously fuel and cool processors - and they've managed it. In their Zurich Research Laboratory, the team have taken their inspiration from the human brain.
First, this bunch of IBM engineers stacked hundreds of silicon wafers on top of each other to create three-dimensional processors. Nothing particularly new there: after all, Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors, to be launched in 2012, do just that.
But IBM have created channels between the wafers which allow liquid metal - vanadium, to be precise - to run through the entire processor. Because the liquid is metallic, it can be used to carry charged particles that power the chip. As the vanadium loses its charge, it also absorbs heat, meaning the fluid acts as a coolant, too.
The knock-on effect? Far high efficiency, and far higher clock speeds in tiny devices. Which could leave the 2.5GHz HTC quaking in its boots.