Intel shows off mobile quad-core chip, new cooling technology

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Presenting at the start of its developer forum in Taiwan on Monday, Intel Corp. demonstrated a working quad-core microprocessor design that will eventually find its way into notebook systems, as well as a new strategy for cooling notebooks derived from compressor technology.



The quad-core mobile chip is still in the early stages of development, said Intel's mobile platforms chief Mooly Eden, who acknowledged that the silicon used in his demos had only left the fab just 72 hours earlier. Neverthless, and despite the need for a significant cooling system, it continually ran sequences from the recently released Enemy Territory: Quake Wars game during his presentation without a hitch.



Eden said the Penryn-based chip, due sometime in the second half of 2008 as part of Intel's Montevina platform, contains 840 million transistors and will run at a power envelope of 45W. That's somewhat higher than the chipmaker's mainstream thermal design power (TDP) of 35W, meaning that the extra performance will take its toll on battery life.



Also during his presentation, Eden spoke at some length about a new strategy for cooling notebooks based on compressor technology similar to that used in refrigerators and air conditioners. He showed off a compressor cylinder about 2cm in diameter and 10cm long, as well as a notebook stand and cooling system containing three of the compressors which he claimed could reduce notebook chassis temperatures by around 10-degrees Celsius. He also demonstrated how the compressors can be incorporated directly into notebook's heatsink and fan assembly.



As a final order of business, the Intel exec disclosed details of a new material under development by his Santa Clara-based firm designed to be permeable to air but also act as a barrier to liquids. The idea is to allow notebook makers to design systems where air for cooling is taken in through keyboard rather than from vents on the underside or rear (which is common in today's designs), yet still offer protection from accidental spillages.



Such a design has several advantages, particularly in giving designers more flexibility in terms of the layout of the motherboard and components, Eden explained. It should also improve cooling as the keyboard offers a larger surface area for air intake and is less likely to become blocked or covered.



Intel is still refining its new compressor technology and waterproof material, both of which are unlikely to be available for production systems for another year or so.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    The initial QC Laptop purchasers will undoubtedly be using them as mobile workstations that are mainly plugged in IMO.



    A QC iMac 24" makes total sense to me. Mate it with a solid GPU and you have a very nice media computer.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,915member
    I like the idea of drawing air in through the entire keyboard for cooling purposes. But I was hoping that we were aproaching the era of cold computing where sizes shrunk and energy needed decreased to the point that cooling was not an issue.

    Oh well, hope springs eternal! Maybe in 2010...
  • Reply 3 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    What else can I say? Cool!
  • Reply 4 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    The initial QC Laptop purchasers will undoubtedly be using them as mobile workstations that are mainly plugged in IMO.



    A QC iMac 24" makes total sense to me. Mate it with a solid GPU and you have a very nice media computer.



    Exactly my thoughts - this will first go into the iMac line. As demonstrated by the fact that the iMac G5 could be kept cool (but a laptop with a G5 was impossible), it's the perfect chip for the line. Sounds like intel's saying they have amazing processors, but really have no idea how to keep it cool enough to be put in a laptop...so somebody thought...hey...I know...refrigerators are cool!
  • Reply 5 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    45 watts is not "slightly" more power hungry than a 35 watt chip. It's 29% more power hungry.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I like the idea of drawing air in through the entire keyboard for cooling purposes.



    Doesn't Apple laptops already do this?



    /Adrian
  • Reply 7 of 29
    brianusbrianus Posts: 146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...

    Eden said the Penryn-based chip, due sometime in the second half of 2008 as part of Intel's Montevina platform, contains 840 million transistors and will run at a power envelope of 45W. That's slightly higher than the chipmaker's mainstream thermal design power (TDP) of 35W, meaning that the extra performance will take its toll on battery life.



    Also during his presentation, Eden spoke at some length about a new strategy for cooling notebooks based on compressor technology similar to that used in refrigerators and air conditioners. He showed off a compressor cylinder about 2cm in diameter and 10cm long, as well as a notebook stand and cooling system containing three of the compressors which he claimed could reduce notebook chassis temperatures by around 10-degrees Celsius....



    Yikes. Guess we won't be seeing these in MBP's anytime soon..
  • Reply 8 of 29
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    If they can create a waterproof membrane that can draw sufficient air then I think we will be seeing some radical new designs to notebooks offering smaller footprints.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    Doesn't Apple laptops already do this?



    /Adrian



    The keyboards are designed to release heat, but not to draw in air. I believe it was the G4 laptop that required the auto-sleep mode to be engaged when the laptop was closed.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    45 watts is not "slightly" more power hungry than a 35 watt chip. It's 29% more power hungry.



    Good call - updated.



    K
  • Reply 10 of 29
    Drawing air IN thorough the keyboard, because they want to get rid of air vents in the side/bottom/back etc. of the laptop.



    So tell me this, if the air is drawn IN through the keyboard/membrane, where the HELL does it get drawn OUT through???
  • Reply 11 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    Drawing air IN thorough the keyboard, because they want to get rid of air vents in the side/bottom/back etc. of the laptop.



    So tell me this, if the air is drawn IN through the keyboard/membrane, where the HELL does it get drawn OUT through???



    If it's drawn in, it's blown out, not drawn out.



    But, aside from that, it would have to go out through the back, or vents in front of the csreen, which is always a problem option. Sometimes the vents can be put on a side, but the side could be blocked by smething more often than the back, and is often where the optical drive is.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Good call - updated.



    K



    Note too; that this is the processors power usage. If you need a motor driven compressor to keep it cool you are in big trouble.



    Maybe they have a very low power approach to this compressor but it will likely cause a few more watts of power to be used. You have the watts to drive the compressor and then the watts lost due to mechanical friction.



    I'd like to know what the innovation with this compressor is. Air conditioners are not the most efficient things in existence, nor the most reliable. At least compared to a fan. Which brings up another point which will be the need for an even larger fan to remove the compressors heat along with the processors.



    To me this sounds like Intel needs to go back to the drawing board with respect to portable processors. Maybe Apple needs to introduce an ARM based laptop to give them a little incentive.



    Dave
  • Reply 13 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Note too; that this is the processors power usage. If you need a motor driven compressor to keep it cool you are in big trouble.



    Maybe they have a very low power approach to this compressor but it will likely cause a few more watts of power to be used. You have the watts to drive the compressor and then the watts lost due to mechanical friction.



    I'd like to know what the innovation with this compressor is. Air conditioners are not the most efficient things in existence, nor the most reliable. At least compared to a fan. Which brings up another point which will be the need for an even larger fan to remove the compressors heat along with the processors.



    To me this sounds like Intel needs to go back to the drawing board with respect to portable processors. Maybe Apple needs to introduce an ARM based laptop to give them a little incentive.



    Dave



    Compressor technology isn't always what you see in your home, or in industry. Spacecraft use compressors as well. There are motors that are very efficient, and very quiet, that are used for many purposes, such as for these small compressors.



    One of these technologies is the Ultrasonic motors that Canon uses in its auto-focus lenses. This is based on linear motor design. These Motors can be wrapped around something and are very effective.



    There are also piezoelectric motors, which have no actual moving parts, but function through the piezoelectric effect which will cause a material designed for it, to vibrate, or increase/decrease its volume depending on the voltage moving through it.



    This is the basis for small bellows pumps, where a diaphragm moves in and out, opening and closing "flapper" valves in the pump, thus pulling material in through the opening valve, while preventing backwards movement through the valve through which the material move out.



    There are other methodologies, but the fact that these two exist should give you an idea that small, efficient, compressors do work.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I like the idea of drawing air in through the entire keyboard for cooling purposes. But I was hoping that we were aproaching the era of cold computing where sizes shrunk and energy needed decreased to the point that cooling was not an issue.

    Oh well, hope springs eternal! Maybe in 2010...



    I'm sure that's where we are headed, but Intel have other fish to fry so to speak ? and unlike IBM/Moto they have an archrival who needs to be constantly competed against.



    This chip sounds like a good iMac choice as others have noted. And Intel must know through their work with Apple that laptop chips and desktop chips are less and less separated than before, such that their customers will use them whichever way round they prefer.



    Intel are still surely beavering away on the low power and ultra low power Core variants so there's no need to think of ARM MacBooks any time soon if ever. What we have with this announcement though is Intel trying to maintain their effective lead in PR terms, raising the profile of a grey area of desktop replacement laptops or quiet desktops. One which Apple already knows best of all.



    Indeed ? it always seems to me that Intel were so eager to win Apple to their platform because of Apple's effects on others. Seeing someone with design in their blood doing new things with Intel's kit was a far better approach than their time honoured concept promos like (shudder) UMPC.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,908member
    Well Apple has been using the keyboard as heat sink since the very early days of the Powerbooks, then other companies jumped on the idea. However, "drawing air through the keyboard is an inefficient idea since you want to pull cool air in from either the sides or bottom due to the fact that hot air raises and cold air is denser and it will take more work to pull it down while the hot air is trying to rise.





    Also, the small compressor ideas have been around for a long time, this is nothing new, problem is they tend to use more energy than you get cooling effect. It is not the compressor efficiency you have to worry about its the electronics you have to use to run it and power it.



    Apple solution to controlling heat and power has always been turning everything you can off in the unit you do not need all the time. I am not convince that Intel ever got this right in their processors. In the PPC chip you could turn those things complete off and never crash, only to power them up once in a while to make sure the user was not trying to do something.



    Putting in a 45 watt processor in a laptop will only burn up your legs and the laptop.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    The initial QC Laptop purchasers will undoubtedly be using them as mobile workstations that are mainly plugged in IMO.



    A QC iMac 24" makes total sense to me. Mate it with a solid GPU and you have a very nice media computer.



    Please. Core 2 Quad desktop chips are already at commodity pricing. There is no excuse for Apple to not already be using Quads in thier desktop consumer machines.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Insofar as a material that allows air to be sucked through, but doesn't allow water through, well, that's interesting. But, I would like to know more about what they mean by that.



    We have numerous materials that allow air and mosisture out in one direction, while preventing water, in liquid form, rather than as a gas, from entering from the other direction. Many of us have jackets made from these materials.



    But a material that allows air in from the same direction it prevents water from entering, as a gas, is novel. I'm trying to understand how they prevent the evaporating water that is normally pulled in with the air that is causing the evaporation, from entering, if it does. And how does it deal with water covering whatever pores are being used for the air flow, from intefering with that air flow.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Well Apple has been using the keyboard as heat sink since the very early days of the Powerbooks, then other companies jumped on the idea. However, "drawing air through the keyboard is an inefficient idea since you want to pull cool air in from either the sides or bottom due to the fact that hot air raises and cold air is denser and it will take more work to pull it down while the hot air is trying to rise.





    Also, the small compressor ideas have been around for a long time, this is nothing new, problem is they tend to use more energy than you get cooling effect. It the compressor efficiency you have to worry about its the electronics you have to use to run it and power it.



    Apple solution to controlling heat and power has always been turning everything you can off in the unit that you do not need all the time. I am not convince that Intel ever got this right in their processors. in the PPC chip you could turn those things complete off and never crash, only to power them up once in a while to make sure the use was not trying to do something.



    Putting in a 45 watt processor in a laptop will only burn up your legs and the laptop.



    If the computer is in your lap or on a desk, then the bottom will be more hot since it will have an insulator under it. So taking air in from the top is the best approach.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    Wouldn't taking the air in through the sides and blowing it out the keyboard top make more sense (might be a little warm), as heat rises and as the post above was saying a material that can let only air and not water in, well I want to see it.



    I think these are great for the iMac, just won't see it in a Laptop anytime soon.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    The initial QC Laptop purchasers will undoubtedly be using them as mobile workstations that are mainly plugged in IMO.



    Correct.

    I hope they're thick.

    W/ a PCI-E slot.
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