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DigiTimes: Intel to Announce Advanced Thermal Module at CES

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel will reportedly announce and showcase an advanced thermal module cooling solution to improve laptops’ power dissipation at the upcoming CES. This new innovation will be part of Project Athena and enable fanless and thinner notebooks, according to DigiTimes.

DigiTimes’ sources from the upside supply chain claim that the new thermal module design enhances power dissipation by 25-30%. It would consist of a combination of vapor chambers and graphite sheets.

As DigiTimes describes, thermal modules are traditionally placed between the keyboard and the bottom shell. In Intel’s design, by contrast, a vapor chamber will replace the current modules, and will be attached with a graphite sheet that is placed behind the screen. To make this possible, the hinges have to be redesigned to allow the graphite to go through for conducting the heat.

On the flipside, the new thermal module will allow for thinner and even fanless notebooks. As part of Intel’s Project Athena for premium laptops, many brands would have expressed interest in this new cooling solution and will reportedly showcase products with the module.

An improved cooling design might also be helpful for Intel's first discrete graphics card, DG1, which could help to double Tiger Lake's graphics power with its additional 96 execution units.

Intel will hold its CES keynote on January 6. Last year at CES, Intel announced Project Athena, Ice Lake, Lakefield, the F-series of desktop processors without integrated graphics, the NNP-I, Ice Lake server and Snow Ridge, 3D Athlete Tracking for the Olympics, plans for 10Gbit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6, and a Mobileye-Ordnance Survey collaboration.

  • hotaru251
    hasn't graphite sheets been attempted before and deemed less effective?

    also puttign a sheet behind display would make me worried given graphite sheets are not very durable and VERY easy to tear.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    In Intel’s design, by contrast, a vapor chamber will replace the current modules, and will be attached with a graphite sheet that is placed behind the screen. To make this possible, the hinges have to be redesigned to allow the graphite to go through for conducting the heat.
    This is wild.

    So, they're using the vapor chamber to transfer heat from the CPU to a graphite sheet. Now, graphite is basically a 3D extension of graphene, which is noted for its extreme thermal conductivity (except it's only a 2D arrangement of carbon atoms, so it's relatively efficient, but doesn't scale well, for moving large quantities of heat).

    The thing I'd worry about is degrading the integrity of that graphite sheet running through the hinge, every time I opened and closed the laptop lid! I wonder how many opens & closes before it starts to degrade, measurably? And what if it had a strong knock on the part of the hinge - couldn't that damage it?

    Finally, would the heat have any impact on the display quality?

    I get the point of wanting to radiate the heat out the back of the lid, but I'm still not sure about this. Is there any other way to build a heat-exchanger into the hinge? Maybe you could intercoil two heat pipes, lubricated by some graphite...
    Reply
  • bit_user
    An improved cooling design might also be helpful for Intel's first discrete graphics card, DG1, which could help to double Tiger Lake's graphics power with its additional 96 execution units.
    Oof. That was hardly a graceful way to sneak in that link.

    No, this has nothing to do with that. From the sound of it, the DG1 will be too small for a vapor chamber (which are standard fare, in higher-end graphics cards). And the graphite sheet would have no place in it, either.
    Reply