Thinner And Lighter Laptops With Intel CPUs To Feature New Fanless Heat Dissipation

Laptop manufacturers will soon have a new and innovative heat dissipation technology for the Intel CPUs. Intel Corporation is actively exploring new solutions for drawing away heat from the processors through graphite inserts with a large surface area. These inserts would not require active cooling fans. In other words, Intel is looking at fanless cooling solutions for laptops using graphite inserts with high thermal conductivity. Without the added bulk of fans, the laptops should get significantly thinner and quieter, claims Intel.

Active cooling solutions for laptops have traditionally relied on copper-based thermal conductivity pads, which draw heat away from the CPU. These pads are then cooled down using slim fans. Rumors now strongly indicate Intel wants to completely do away with the CPU cooling designs, and instead, rely on new-age materials to keep CPU temperatures within limits. The new designs being explored by Intel reportedly rely on Graphite, a material with excellent conductivity and heat transmission properties.

Intel Plans To Place Passive CPU Cooling Behind The Laptop Display:

Intel is rumored to be planning a new passive cooling solution that relies on the same basic principle of active cooling solutions. However, instead of fans, Intel wants to use a larger surface area to accumulate and dissipate heat. The largest surface area of a laptop, which has traditionally remained untouched or unpopulated with hardware, is the back of the display. It is this area that Intel wants to use for its innovative Graphite-based passive cooling solutions.

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Intel’s new design is ideally suited for next-generation laptops and notebooks, which are extremely thin and light. Traditionally, designers have had to accommodate miniature fans to cool down the copper-based cooling solutions. But now, Intel wants to use the back of the display to dissipate the waste heat from the processors.

According to reports, Intel plans to present a new concept for cooling notebooks at CES 2020 in early January. According to sources from the supply chain, the group essentially wants to use the back of the display lid of the new laptops to rapidly dissipate heat. These laptop concepts would have sufficiently large graphite inserts to achieve the same.

Intel’s graphite-based Passive, Fanless Cooling Solutions For Laptops To Achieve Better Performance Than Active Cooling Solutions?

Intel’s Project Athena has been in the news for all the right reasons. The design language and philosophy behind Project Athena mandates higher thermal efficiency without compromising performance. There are several strict guidelines that laptop manufacturers have to follow, in order to qualify to attach the Project Athena badge on their portable and high-end or premium computing devices.

The new passive cooling solution reportedly combines vapor chamber solutions with graphite inlays. The heat generated by several critical components of the laptop, including CPU, RAM, and others, is conducted using the heat lines. The heat picked up from the lower part of the notebook, will be carried through the hinges that connect the display to the bottom half of the laptop. The hinges will transfer the heat to a large graphite layer housed behind the display, where it will be cooled down passively through the heat exchange process. The heat will essentially be dissipated into the atmosphere.

Intel is reportedly planning to showcase the first prototypes that use the new cooling concept at the upcoming CES 2020. Incidentally, the company appears to have roped in a few brand manufacturers to build new devices with these new-age cooling solutions.

The most interesting aspect of the graphite-based passive cooling solutions from Intel is the claimed thermal efficiency. Intel is reportedly confident that the new cooling solution will improve cooling performance by 25 to 30 percent, over and above the traditional active cooling solutions. If Intel can achieve exceptional thermal performance, laptop manufacturers could have several new avenues for designing new thinner laptops with powerful processors. Traditionally, laptops have featured CPUs that prioritized thermal efficiency over performance.

According to industry experts, there’s only one limitation in deploying the Graphite-based passive cooling solutions in laptops. The graphite inlays can currently only be used on devices with a maximum opening angle of 180 degrees. This means only laptops, and not two-in-ones or convertible laptops that double up as tablets will be able to use the same.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.