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

Solid State AirJet Cooling System
(Image credit: Frore Systems)

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 incredibly thin, and is capable of dissipating the same amount of heat as fan-based coolers, while maintaining very low power consumption and a silent presentation.

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.

"Intel’s mission with Intel Evo is to unite the open PC ecosystem to deliver the best possible laptop experiences that people want," said Josh Newman, vice president and general manager of mobile innovation at Intel in a press release. "Engineering thin, light, stylish laptop designs that offer great performance while remaining cool and quiet are foundational to that mission. Frore Systems’ AirJet technology offers a new and novel approach to help achieve these design goals in new ways and Intel is excited about the engineering collaboration with Frore Systems to help ready their technology for future Intel Evo laptops."

Frore 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.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • tommo1982
    The first thing that comes to mind is "dust". How resistant the design is to dust build up and how resilient are the membranes to compressed air.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    Putting the intake and exhaust right next to each other could recirculate the hot air back into the system if they aren't careful about the design
    Reply
  • nightbird321
    Is it cat and dog safe? lol
    Reply
  • Blitz Hacker
    tommo1982 said:
    The first thing that comes to mind is "dust". How resistant the design is to dust build up and how resilient are the membranes to compressed air.
    First thing I thought of aswell. . air thru small channels.. there is going to have to be some very very good filtering for the intake to ensure these don't clog. Interested in the concept but wondering if it was designed in a vacuum or has more real world practical applications.
    Reply
  • rluker5
    Four air jet mini's for four watts wouldn't be very efficient if it used that much all of the time.
    I don't see anything about power scaling. If they stopped functioning at lower power levels and needed that continuous 4w I could see them using more power than some of the mobile CPUs they are trying to cool over time. And be usually louder than the fan based solution.

    But they do look like they will be somewhat quieter if they can work with reduced power and airflow to them.
    Reply
  • Peter Patel-Schneider
    I see claims that doubling heat dissipation from 10W to 20W doubles performance. Is that actually the case with any current laptop CPUs? Most current laptop CPUs? Any current laptop systems? Most current laptop systems?
    Reply
  • jp7189
    Peter Patel-Schneider said:
    I see claims that doubling heat dissipation from 10W to 20W doubles performance. Is that actually the case with any current laptop CPUs? Most current laptop CPUs? Any current laptop systems? Most current laptop systems?
    Many small systems have their power limits and clocks down tuned to match the cooling system. I believe they are saying a system builder would have the leeway to increase performance in a new design if they chose - not that it would insta double an existing system.
    Reply
  • Peter Patel-Schneider
    jp7189 said:
    Many small systems have their power limits and clocks down tuned to match the cooling system. I believe they are saying a system builder would have the leeway to increase performance in a new design if they chose - not that it would insta double an existing system.
    Yes, but even if the system is has a different CPU from the same generation and maybe even better memory will doubling available CPU power double performance?
    Reply
  • kjfatl
    There is no mention of the expected life of the cooling device. No mention of live leads me to believe it may be significantly lower than the life of a standard heat sink cooling pipe and fan. It's a great concept if it actually works, but it is still a mechanical device just like the flat speakers that were the rage a few years ago. What happened to them?
    Reply
  • jp7189
    Peter Patel-Schneider said:
    Yes, but even if the system is has a different CPU from the same generation and maybe even better memory will doubling available CPU power double performance?
    Yes. Even with the same CPU. At that end of the power/performance curve, the performance scaling is fairly linear.
    Reply