Image: Willis Lai/IDG
One of the most impressive products to come out of CES 2023 was AirJet, new solid-state cooling system that can replace fans with cooling components using a fraction of the power and space. Seshu Madhavapeddy, founder and CEO of Frore Systems, was kind enough to give us a tour of the company’s offices and development labs in San Jose.
A quick refresher on AirJet: It’s a new cooling solution that uses a tiny, solid-state block with no separate moving parts to remove heat from components like CPUs and GPUs. The AirJet uses tiny vibrating membranes above a copper head spreader to draw in and expel air at up to 120 miles per hour, creating incredibly efficient air cooling in a space just 2.8mm thick. On a watt-per-watt basis, Frore claims that AirJet could more than double the cooling power in conventional fan-based systems, while working in an even smaller space.
The vibrating material is waterproof and dustproof, and AirJet already has functioning dust filters for the individual cooling units, down to one micron. Testing in windy, dusty chambers has shown that even in the most extreme conditions the AirJet’s performance isn’t adversely affected. Similar testing for heat, cold, humidity, and longevity shows the product is ready for the long haul.
Madhavapeddy freely admits that the AirJet is more costly than comparable fan-based solutions for laptops. “Is it priced [in a way] that would be reasonable and acceptable by manufacturers? The answer is an emphatic ‘yes.’”
The AirJet isn’t currently installed in any consumer products, but Frore has modified several current models to replace their internal cooling systems with the AirJet, just to demonstrate its efficacy. In a base model with no special engineering for AirJet, three of the solid-state coolers were able to replace the primary CPU heatsink and fan setup, boosting its core wattage from 12.5w to 15w with no ill effects, and an overall reduction in noise. Madhavapeddy claims that under more ideal design circumstances, it’s possible to use four AirJet Mini units and boost it up to 21 watts.
Frore is working with “several device manufacturers,” and “several commercial projects” are slated to hit shelves before the end of the year. At the moment the company is focusing on conventional notebook designs. Handheld gaming devices, mini PCs, M.2 storage drives, and digital cameras are also potential vectors for expansion. for more information on upcoming PC technology, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube!