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  • Apple Working on New Ways to Keep Macs Cool


    Four Apple patent applications were revealed this week, all covering new technology for cooling and heat control in computers, primarily laptops. The applications - including one involving a system of air flow sensors and another that uses the hinge of a laptop as a heat sink - were filed in September of last year, AppleInsider reports. While Apple files numerous patent applications each year, not all of the inventions find their way into actual products: Apple likes to keep control of what its geniuses come up with. As the company packs more powerful processors into its computers, though, heat dissipation is an increasing issue. So it's more likely than not that one or more of these technologies will be used in future Macs to help keep them from melting down.

    One invention involves the use of air flow meters and thermal sensors placed in open areas of a laptop's case to detect the speed and temperature of the air inside the chassis. If air flow slows (for example, in a case where one or more of the vents is blocked), the system could take that into consideration, either increasing the speed at which the fans spin or by reducing the performance of the processor so that it generates less heat.

    A separate application talks about using peripheral ports, such as USB, FireWire and Ethernet connections, as secondary vents to bring cooler air into the housing. According to the application, the computer case would be designed so that the location of the ports improves airflow in parts of the chassis where heat builds up. The vents would make use of a "hydrophobic material" to block liquids, but not air, from entering the case.

    Apple also filed for a patent on using heat-conductive assemblies to cool components inside the case of a laptop by dissipating the heat to the laptop's hinge. The component would be connected by means of a heat pipe to a graphite "heat spreader" that is partially wrapped around the shaft of the hinge. The heat spreader would be connected to a housing that would allow the heat to dissipate without causing the outside of the laptop to become too hot to the touch.

    The last application describes a "solid state cooling system" that uses - instead of fans or conductive materials - thermoelectric cooling through the so-called "Peltier effect." Named for French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, this effect describes the cooling or heating that happens when current is forced through a junction of two different metals. When current flows in one direction, it can cool the metal by as much as 5 C.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Working on New Ways to Keep Macs Cool started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. RonHC's Avatar
      RonHC -
      How can they be more cool when they are already beyond cool
    1. mixer911's Avatar
      mixer911 -
      By adding an i9 core processor to the MacBook pros!
    1. Armored's Avatar
      Armored -
      Dang, now I can't cook eggs on my mbp anymore!
    1. The Maestro's Avatar
      The Maestro -
      I'm just waiting on an i5 MacBook with hdmi, to hook up to my HDTV I use mini display(dvi?) to dvi, then dvi to hdmi, then the hdmi cable. Looks gorgeous on an HDTV but hdmi is needed.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      My MBP can pretty hot at times on the bottom!

      ^I don't get full screen when connecting to my Bravia due to MBP being 16:10(?)

      This kind of technology by using materials to cool it down by 5 degrees should be used in the PS3 to prevent YLOD, equivalent of 360's RRoD
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      mine is hot and cool at the same time
    1. Vfitz59's Avatar
      Vfitz59 -
      The only thing I notice when I am charging my Mac, I notice that the Charger get really hot. Is this normal?
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      i want a mac lol
    1. SquareWheel's Avatar
      SquareWheel -
      More patent whoring.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      watercooled MBP coming to a store near you...soon? that would have been an appropriate title...
    1. pyromcr's Avatar
      pyromcr -
      thats good because my macbook seems to overheat alot...