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Frore launches a lightweight, self-cleaning cooling chip

Frore AirJet Mini SlimImage: Mark Hachman / IDG

Frore Systems launched its second-generation AirJet Mini Slim this week here at CES 2024. This slimmed-down version of the company’s existing cooling solution demonstrates what they now cheekily refer to as “Frore’s Law.”

Frore’s Law, a semi-serious allusion to Moore’s Law, is a commitment to doubling the company’s cooling performance every two years while leaving the Z-height the same. Alternatively, the company could reduce the height of its AirJet cooling solution, leaving its cooling capabilities unchanged.

The latter is the approach that Frore took with the AirJet Mini Slim, which can generate the same 1750 pascals of air pressure at just 21 dBA of noise while slimming down from 2.8mm to 2.5mm thick. The weight has also been reduced to just 8 grams.

Frore’s new cooling solution includes an interesting self-cleaning mechanism, which anyone who has owned a ShopVac can understand. The Mini Slim can reverse its airflow and vent air out from its input filters, an “automatic self-cleaning” feature that can be programmed to occur at certain intervals. It now includes a thermal sensor, too, which can signal the cooling solution to turn on at a programmed temperature without the need for another microcontroller or CPU to actively direct it to do so.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Since the generation of air pressure from Frore’s AirJet Mini Slim remains the same, so does its cooling capabilities: 5.25W. That means, in effect, that the company’s MEMS membrane vibrates in such a way as to mechanically move air warmed from a laptop’s CPU or other components. It dissipates enough heat at 25 degrees, which allows the chip to run at an additional 5.25W of power in the same thermal envelope. This allows the laptop to run at increased performance, as PCWorld first reported on Frore.

In its booth, Frore showed off demonstrations of everything from Apple MacBooks to SSDs that used the Frore Airjet as a replacement for a traditional heat sink.

Mark Hachman / IDG

So, how will “Frore’s Law” work? Fairly simply, according to Frore engineers in the company’s booth. Frore’s MEMS-activated membrane creates suction via vibration and the company can create even more either by increasing the number of membranes, increasing the size of the membrane, increasing its amplitude, or via a combination of all of them. Meanwhile, the company’s early AirJet chips included enough engineering “wiggle room” that it can continually shrink the z-height or thickness, they said.

The bottom line? According to Frore executives, the company has drawn a line between the cooling capabilities and thickness of its AirJet chips. The company believes that line, “Frore’s Law” can be extended for generations to come.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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