Better than the fans?  New 'AirJet' chip promises to overhaul laptop cooling

Better than the fans? New ‘AirJet’ chip promises to overhaul laptop cooling

Could this be the future of laptop cooling?

On Thursday, a San Jose-based company showed off a new cooling system for electronics that not only runs quieter than traditional fans, but also promises to help laptops achieve even better performance.

The cooling system is called the “AirJet” chip and comes from Frore Systems(Opens in a new window), which began collaborating on the technology with Intel. The company promises that the cooling system can improve laptop performance by 50% to 100%, depending on the configuration.

Airjet Chips

The AirJet Mini and AirJet Pro chips. (Frore Systems)

The AirJet chip is designed to address how today’s laptops can throttle CPU processing speeds to prevent overheating. As a result, a laptop can only run at higher clock speeds for so long before thermals force the system to lower performance.

“Heat has become the biggest bottleneck in computing. The latest processors promise higher performance, but only 50% or less is realized in real devices,” Frore Systems said in a document.(Opens in a new window) explaining his own technology. “As processors continue to advance and generate more heat, thermal solutions have not kept pace.”

In response, Frore Systems developed the AirJet chip, a so-called “solid-state thermal solution” that abandons traditional fans altogether. “Inside AirJet are tiny membranes that vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency,” the company said. “These membranes generate a powerful airflow that enters the AirJet through the inlets on the top.”

How the AirJet works

(Frore Systems)

The approach can produce a powerful jet force capable of removing heat and pushing it out from separate vents on the back of the laptop. Another vent acts as a suction, sucking in cool ambient air to send it to the AirJet chip. Depending on the laptop product, the cooling system promises to generate only around 24 to 29 decibels of sound, which is softer than a whisper. On top of all that, the AirJet chips are only around 2.8mm thick.

The technology is certainly enticing and could pave the way for even thinner, quieter, yet more powerful laptops. But the big question is whether the AirJet can perform as promised. For now, Frore Systems has only said that the cooling system should debut in real products sometime next year. However, the company plans to demonstrate the technology at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas.

AirJet performance gains.

(Frore Systems)

Frore Systems also told PCMag that the AirJet is currently best suited for mobile computing, including laptops, smartphones and gaming tablets. Still, the company plans to expand into other markets to the future. So a desktop-based AirJet chip might be possible one day.

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“We cannot discuss pricing at this time, but major OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) see value in the device and consider the value proposition to be very competitive with traditional fan-based systems. “, added the company.

The AirJet will arrive in two forms to PC makers. On Thursday, Frore Systems began shipments of the AirJet Mini, which is designed for fanless and thin laptop models. In the first quarter, the company then plans to launch the AirJet Pro chip, which is designed for larger laptops that offer more processing power or even for handhelds.(Opens in a new window) gaming systems.

In a statement, Intel Vice President of Mobile Innovation, Josh Newman, added, “AirJet technology from Frore Systems offers a new and innovative approach to help achieve these design goals in new ways and Intel is delighted with the engineering collaboration with Frore Systems to help prepare their technology. for future Intel Evo laptops.

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