||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (July 2012)|
Certain processes within computation require a change in entropy within the computing system. As data must be stored as some kind of ordered structure (like a localized charge in a capacitor) so the erasure of data by destroying this order must involve an increase in disorder, or entropy. This means that the erasure of data releases heat. This is Landauer's principle.
Reversible computing or Adiabatic computing is a theoretical type of computing in which data is never erased, it just changes state or is marked to be ignored. In theory such a system would be able to "hide" data without releasing heat.
In the case of quantum entangled data, or qubits, it is possible for a computation to result in negative entropy, actually transferring heat out of the computational system, and so cooling it.