The researchers at Sandia National Laboratories say that their cooler gets “a factor of 10 increase in cooling efficiency compared to the best coolers on the market right now,” which is a bold claim to make. But the technology looks compelling; according to frostytech,
Unlike traditional CPU coolers, heat energy in the Sandia Cooler is conducted across a very thin air gap bearing from the stationary base of the cooler to the upper rotating aluminum fin/fan component. This aspect of the novel cooler design tends to challenge people’s expectations as it seems impossible for a heatsink to work this way.
The video above explains everything simply but thoroughly, and you can check all of your doubts here and here [pdf]. Sandia expects to produce these things at about $10 a unit, though the project is still in development and we’ll have to wait to see if this will be as revolutionary as claimed.