Monday, December 30th 2019

Intel to Announce Advanced Cooling Solutions for Project Athena Laptops

According to sources at DigiTimes, Intel will announce its advanced cooling solutions for project Athena thin and light laptops, at 2020's CES. Pushing project Athena to be the finest of all laptop options, Intel wants to give users the ability to have their laptops run even cooler than ever with a new thermal solution that will supposedly enable an additional 25-30% of cooling headroom. The new cooling module will combine two ingredients to make up for a powerful cooling solution - vapor chambers and graphite sheets.

Usually, the cooling modules inside laptops are placed between the keyboard and laptop's bottom shell, where they could utilize only a small space, so thermal management became hard. In contrast, Intel's design is combining the vapor chamber with graphite sheets to create a bigger surface for heat dissipation. The vapor chamber will replace all the current modules and connect to graphite sheets placed behind the laptop screen, where a lot of area is available. Connecting the vapor chamber to the graphite sheet is a laptop hinge, where a graphite cooling solution would pass through. This hints at a complete redesign of laptop hinges, so we can expect to see some creative solutions there as well. Additionally, this design will allow manufacturers to make fanless laptops that use lower-power CPU models, and we can expect to see even slimmer laptop designs than ever before.
Source: DigiTimes
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18 Comments on Intel to Announce Advanced Cooling Solutions for Project Athena Laptops

#2
Crackong
Inside the hinge ?

Hope it survives 1000 times of open/closing the laptop
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#3
Khonjel
I hope Intel pays some big techtubers to do thorough piece on this tech. Looks mighty interesting.

Crackong
Inside the hinge ?

Hope it survives 1000 times of open/closing the laptop
Life is nothing but compromises.
Posted on Reply
#4
R-T-B
TheGuruStud
Nope, this won't end badly.
With a low enough TDP I don't see why it would...
Posted on Reply
#5
TheGuruStud
R-T-B
With a low enough TDP I don't see why it would...
B/c the morons still can't make quality hinges lol
Posted on Reply
#6
silentbogo
R-T-B
With a low enough TDP I don't see why it would...
TDP don't matter. You put anything through the LCD hinge - it's a recipe for disaster.
I still have a bad aftertaste of "premium" laptops with worn or ripped in half eDP ribbons (especially on older Zenbooks), and Intel is trying to cook up a contraption of graphite sheets to go through this most vulnerable spot and make an entire cooling system depend on it... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
It looks impressive on paper, until the first wave of RMA due to overheating.
Posted on Reply
#7
Apocalypsee
TheGuruStud
B/c the morons still can't make quality hinges lol
True, my local PC repair shop makes a survey that nearly a quarter of laptop problems are broken hinges. With fragile hinges already packed with WiFi antenna, ribbon cable for LCD and some more cables for microphone and webcam, it will be bad to cram cooling system on it.
Posted on Reply
#8
R-T-B
silentbogo
TDP don't matter. You put anything through the LCD hinge - it's a recipe for disaster.
I still have a bad aftertaste of "premium" laptops with worn or ripped in half eDP ribbons (especially on older Zenbooks), and Intel is trying to cook up a contraption of graphite sheets to go through this most vulnerable spot and make an entire cooling system depend on it... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
It looks impressive on paper, until the first wave of RMA due to overheating.
Fair, the hinge could be a point of failure and I trust your experience more than mine here.
Posted on Reply
#9
candle_86
At work we literally bought red locktite to properly secure the hinge, we opened new precision 3530s and the screws had already started to back out. I wouldn't need locktite to hold the hinge screws down.
Posted on Reply
#10
Steevo
Khonjel
Life is nothing but compromises.
I have an exwife, sometimes compromise is severed at the cost of hundred of thousands of dollars. I don't see this laptop being much different.

How about a cloud or vapor chamber built into enough surface area to actually cool it instead of trying to go through a hinge. Like, I dunno, the bottom of a laptop, so an aluminum base for strength and heat dissipation. But hey, what do I know. 15 inch screen plus bezel offers 66940 sq cm of heat dispersing area in the base. Maybe Intel knows that isn't enough for their 14nm process node........
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#11
Tartaros
Why don't using the space the optical and hdd drives left when they decided just packing nvme drives with laptops? There should be much more space available for the cooling than ever and would be less risky than this.
Posted on Reply
#12
Dave65
Grabs the popcorn:roll:
Posted on Reply
#13
R-T-B
Steevo
14nm process node........
At this low power target segment we are likely talking 10nm rather than 14, ofc I could be wrong.
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#14
HwGeek
When you have Thermal limitations- you must invent new thermal solutions.
Posted on Reply
#15
silentbogo
Tartaros
Why don't using the space the optical and hdd drives left when they decided just packing nvme drives with laptops?
Project Athena is essentially a rehash of their old "Ultrabook program". There's no optical drives and there are tight restrictions on size and what's inside the box.

HwGeek
When you have Thermal limitations- you must invent new thermal solutions.
There's also a good saying in every culture of the world: if it ain't broke - don't fix it.
Posted on Reply
#16
Apocalypsee
Tartaros
Why don't using the space the optical and hdd drives left when they decided just packing nvme drives with laptops? There should be much more space available for the cooling than ever and would be less risky than this.
That sadly won't happen. There are no more spaces as laptops become thinner, the cooling system gets smaller, PCB getting more compact, while heat density gets higher as process node shrinks.
Posted on Reply
#17
Chrispy_
Making the base thinner just to make the screen lid thicker/heavier is a bad move.

Laptops used on, say, your lap (amongst other non-flat, non-hard surfaces) are extremely bad designs if they're back-heavy and have a tendency to topple over backwards when the screen is opened to the typical 110-130 degrees.

We've all had or used something like that and the short version is that it totally sucks.
Posted on Reply
#18
Fourstaff
Will be interesting to see how this matures. Ultrabooks took some time to become competent, I don't expect Project Athena to be a hit immediately.
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