Fujitsu Laboratories has released details of a new heatpipe design built for slim electronics, boasting a sub-millimetre thickness and five times greater heat transfer than existing solutions.
Designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, the loop heatpipe works in much the same way as any other: an evaporator panel absorbs heat from the target electronics, which evaporates a liquid coolant contained within the loop; this coolant passes through the loop to a condenser, typically located in a cooler portion of the device and with a larger surface area, which sheds the heat and turns the coolant vapour back into a liquid for return to the evaporator portion.
Heatpipes are a common sight in modern electronics, but they're rather too bulky for use in ultra-slim smartphones and tablets. Fujitsu's new model aims to solve that: using six 0.1mm-thick copper sheets, two surface sheets and four inner-layer sheets, the new loop heat pipe design reduces the 10mm thickness of an average evaporator to just 0.6mm and the condenser to just shy of 1mm. The result: a fully-functional heatpipe suitable for even the slimmest of devices.
According to Fujitsu's test results, carried out on a working prototype of the heatpipe, the new design is not only thin but considerably more efficient: its heat transfer capabilities are claimed to be five times higher than previous thin heatpipes or thermally-conductive sheeting solutions.
Fujitsu's creation is to be formally unveiled at the Semiconductor Thermal Measurement, Modelling and Management Symposium (SEMI-THERM) in California later this week. The company has stated it is 'examining potential applications
' outside the mobile realm, and plans to have the first practical implementation by 2017.
More information on the design is available on Fujitsu's official website