Intel, Frore Systems Want to Move Beyond Fans With Solid-State Cooling Chip

Cooling manufacturer Frore Systems has reportedly announced the world’s first solid state cooling system, designed to cool CPUs, GPUs and SoCs operating inside devices such as laptops, handheld consoles tablets and more. The cooler design, called the AirJet, does not require any fans, instead using ultrasonic waves to push air through the cooling device. As a result, the device is incredible thin, and is capable of dissipating the same amount of heat as fan-based coolers, while maintaining very low power consumption and a silent footprint.

Frore Systems hasn’t announced any actual computers featuring its Airjet solid state coolers. But the company is already in partnership with the likes of Intel and Qualcomm, so you can expect Intel and ARM based laptops to be arriving sometime in the future with this new cooler technology.

“The future of laptop performance and design depends on advances in thermal engineering,” said Josh Newman, vice president and general manager of mobile innovation at Intel in a press release. “We collaborated deeply with Frore Systems to integrate AirJet into the Intel Evo platform. We are excited to introduce this cutting-edge technology to the open PC ecosystem.”

The company has two models, the AirJet Mini and the AirJet Pro, both of which are just 2.8 mm thick. Both models intake air from four slits housed on the top of the cooling device, which then make their way to the interior of the cooling device where tiny membranes vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies to push that air out the sides of the cooling device.

The main difference between the Mini and the Pro is size and cooling capability. As the name implies, the Mini is the smaller of the two, aimed at cooling ultra-thin notebooks and tablets. The Mini features a total heat dissipation of 5.25W with a 85C die temperature on the processor, while consuming just 1W of power consumption at its max. The Mini generates 1,750 Pascals of back pressure and weights just 11 grams, measuring in at 27.5 mm wide by 41.5 mm long.

The Pro model is a slightly larger model that is designed to cool slightly larger (but still thin) mobile laptops and game consoles. The Pro features 10.5W of cooling power – at the same 85C die temperature, but consumes just 1.75W of power at its peak. The Pro features the same 1,750 Pascals of backpressure, but thanks to its larger 31.5mm x 71.5mm footprint, the Pro can cool substantially more power than the Mini. The only real downsides of the Pro is its slightly heavier weight at 22 grams, and slightly higher audio profile of 24dBA – vs 21dBA for the mini, but these numbers are still really good for any cooling solution.

In a notebook implementation designed with AirJets in mind, multiple coolers are mounted on top of a vapor chamber heatsink inside a thermal solution subassembly. In turn, the PCB is designed to accommodate the subassembly, and it makes sure the processor is contacting the vapor chamber in the center of the PCB.

For ventilation, the AirJets intake and exhaust air only from the rear of the notebook chassis. A single large intake slit is housed in the center of the laptop – behind the display, that intakes air directly into the AirJet devices. Once that air makes its way to the vapor chamber’s heatpipes, the AirJet ejects the hot air out of two smaller exhaust slits flanking the intake slit on the right and the left of the notebook chassis.

This ventilation design solves the problems of air circulation problems with normal laptops, featuring intakes at the bottom of the chassis. Often times, users who put the laptop on a soft surface such as a couch, or on his or her lap, which will block off airflow from the bottom fans. With the intakes and exhaust now located on the rear side of the laptop, that is no longer a problem. 

As another bonus, the cooler design is also designed to swirl air around the keyboard area of the notebook, preventing hotspots from building up on the surface of the laptop.

AirJet Demo

(Image credit: Frore Systems)

Theoretical Performance Potential

In a theoretical example of a 13-inch fanless notebook, with 10W of passive cooling power. An AirJet version housing four AirJet Mini’s would be able to double the notebooks cooling output, from 10W to 20W – combining the power of both passive cooling and the AirJets solid state coolers, without increasing the size of the notebook’s chassis.

In a theoretical case where the laptop’s CPU can take advantage of all this additional cooling, the CPU would run 100% faster with the AirJet solution, while staying whisper quiet.