Chip with its own Peltier cooler

North Carolina's Nextreme has announced a chip with its own built-in Peltier cooler — a cooling system that uses electricity to move heat from one side of a surface to the other. These are historically very expensive to use — bulky and energy hungry — but many overclockers swear by them to keep their PCs running cool. Nextreme proposes to use this to make self-cooling chips that spot-cool different places on a chip, shunting exhaust heat towards fans or vents. Ars Technica has a great article explaining the technology:

But the Peltier coolers that Nextreme is touting are tiny–so tiny, in fact, that they can be integrated into a chip's packaging and used to target specific "hot spots" on the chip for cooling. If Nextreme's technology works as advertised, it is to the traditional Peltier cooler what the integrated circuit is to the vacuum tube…

Nextreme's big idea is to take those copper pillars and turn some of them into tiny Peltier coolers that can move heat off of small sections of the chip. (For a good, brief explanation of Peltier cooling, see the aforementioned Ars article.) As you can see from the diagram below, some of the copper pillars are still traditional power, ground, or I/O pads, while others would be there solely for the purpose of using the Peltier effect to move heat off of the chip.