Solid-state active cooling tech keeps getting better — AirJet Mini Slim unveiled as a slimmer, lighter, and smarter version of the original AirJet

Frore Systems
(Image credit: Frore Systems)

Frore Systems introduced the AirJet Mini Slim, an improved version of its renowned solid-state active cooling device, at CES 2024. The AirJet Mini Slim is a slimmer, lighter, and smarter iteration of the AirJet Mini introduced a year ago that can sense its temperature and clean itself.

Frore's AirJet Mini Slim maintains the same 27.5 x 41.5 mm footprint and boasts the same 1750 Pascals of back pressure and cooling capabilities as the AirJet Mini: it can dissipate up to 5.25W of power at 85 degrees Celsius die temperature and at 25 degrees Celsius ambient temperature. Meanwhile, the AirJet Mini Slim has two significant changes compared to its predecessor: it is 2.5mm thin (down from 2.8 mm) and weighs only 8 grams (down from 9 grams).

This new design is a better fit for devices that need to be portable and powerful simultaneously, like fanless laptops, tablets, handheld gaming devices, and SSDs. Furthermore, Frore also positions its cooling system for smartphones, though we would argue that smartphones have enough space even for a 2.5-mm cooling system inside.

"Reducing the chip's thickness by 0.3mm is a game-changer for products requiring excellent thermal management in increasingly thinner devices," said Dr. Seshu Madhavapeddy, Founder and CEO of Frore Systems. "AirJet Mini Slim will bring much-needed performance improvements to ultra-thin electronic devices like fanless laptops, tablets, and smartphones."

Another notable advancement in the AirJet Mini Slim is its intelligent Self-Cleaning system. The self-cleaning mechanism reverses the airflow to expel any dust gathered in the filters. This ensures the operation of the AirJet Mini Slim itself and that the device it is used in maintains its consistent performance. Interestingly, this feature seems to be firmware/software enabled, as it is said to be backward compatible with the AirJet Mini.

In addition, Frore's AirJet Mini Slim also introduces Thermoception capability, which enables the device to detect its temperature and adjust its cooling performance accordingly autonomously. This automated capability benefits devices that lack processors (or memory chips) with built-in temperature sensors or standalone temperature sensors, opening up new market opportunities for Frore. Meanwhile, it is unclear how Thermoception capability works with two or more AirJet Mini Slim devices working in tandem if one only adjusts its performance based on its temperature.

The demonstration of Frore's AirJet Mini Slim indicates that the product is ready, but it is hard to say when they are available in actual products.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • hotaru251
    interesting tech but issue will be price for this as it can't be cheap
    Reply
  • Giroro
    It looks like they still haven't really solved the efficiency problem. It takes 1W of power, comparable to a full sized case fan, to dissipate only 5.25W of heat (Net 4.25W of dissipation).
    I think part of the problem is that these are meant to act as both the fan and the heat sink, but have very little internal surface area. Maybe they tried, but increasing the surface area could have stopped this type of design from being able to move air, or something.
    Regardless, the efficiency makes this a last-resort option for when you absolutely have no other way to passively/actively manage that small amount of heat - but I think a small blower fan would be a better option for most designs, even when size constrained (Steam deck/Switch). Maybe it could be a useful option for, like, actively cooled video-focused compact mirrorless cameras? If my Sony FX 30 and it's rarely-spinning fan could be smaller, that would be appreciated.

    And, personally, there is an absolute zero chance that I would ever buy an actively cooled phone.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    Giroro said:
    I think part of the problem is that these are meant to act as both the fan and the heat sink, but have very little internal surface area.
    It's not a heatsink at all it attaches to whatever the cooling system is so surface area doesn't particularly matter in these terms.
    Giroro said:
    Regardless, the efficiency makes this a last-resort option for when you absolutely have no other way to passively/actively manage that small amount of heat - but I think a small blower fan would be a better option for most designs, even when size constrained (Steam deck/Switch).
    Steam Deck SoC is limited to 15W so long as you could hypothetically use 3 of these (they haven't disclosed if these get soaked and are unusable or if you can go over their dissipation) it wouldn't be significantly worse than the fan which is rated at ~2.5W max. However until it's actually tried there's no real way to know.

    There is still certainly an efficiency problem which is why I think they've mostly targeted passively cooled devices. Most of their examples have been things like cooling the macbook air, and the only retail product I'm aware of that uses them is a minipc.
    Reply
  • Notton
    This is something I would like to have on a SSD inside a laptop.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    thestryker said:
    It's not a heatsink at all it attaches to whatever the cooling system is so surface area doesn't particularly matter in these terms.

    Steam Deck SoC is limited to 15W so long as you could hypothetically use 3 of these (they haven't disclosed if these get soaked and are unusable or if you can go over their dissipation) it wouldn't be significantly worse than the fan which is rated at ~2.5W max. However until it's actually tried there's no real way to know.

    There is still certainly an efficiency problem which is why I think they've mostly targeted passively cooled devices. Most of their examples have been things like cooling the macbook air, and the only retail product I'm aware of that uses them is a minipc.
    To dissipate 15W, you would need 4 of AirJet Minis, 3 would only get you to 12.75W, drawing 4 watts instead of the 2.5W fan at peak. Maybe you could get creative with heat pipes and blowing the exhaust air over extra fins or something, but Idk, that sounds like it's going to be more complicated and take more space than the traditional way - plus I bet even one AirJet Mini will cost a lot more than one fan.

    When it comes to passively cooled PCs the size of a laptop, current netbooks can usually keep a 6W celeron/Atom/N100 cool enough with just a basic (finless) copper heat-sink and sometimes a heat pipe, all wrapped up in a sealed plastic case. It seems like it would be very possible to get the passive cooling up to the 8.5 W dissipation of 2 AirJet Minis by just adding a few fins, switching the case to metal, or maybe just cutting a vent in the plastic.
    I'm not the apple expert, but Macbook Airs are able to cool around 20W of CPU load passively, right? I'm seeing 36W for an iPad Pro.
    Plus, the 2W to run those Air Jets would be a major drain on battery life in laptop built for a 6W CPU.

    I mean I'm glad these AirJet people are being inventive and making new things, but right now it just seems like a solution in search of a problem to solve. I hope they find that problem, and solve that problem... But they're going after PCs and phones, neither of which seem like a good fit for the technology right now.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    Giroro said:
    To dissipate 15W, you would need 4 of AirJet Minis, 3 would only get you to 12.75W, drawing 4 watts instead of the 2.5W fan at peak.
    They cooled the MBA with 3 of the minis which has more power consumption than a Steam Deck. You don't seem to be keeping in mind that there's still a heatsink that these attach to they don't replace everything just the fan. In the case of the passively cooled units it's mostly the difference between throttling and not which the MBA does under load because it doesn't actually have sufficient cooling. The only advantages of the AirJet right now are size (ex: Steam Deck fan is 50x50x10) and sound as the noise they make isn't audible in a normal environment. There's a lot to be said for both of those things so we'll see what happens over the course of this year.
    Reply