Intel talks laptop cooling, power saving

— 2:28 PM on October 23, 2008

Having an ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop is great—except if you burn your legs after using it on your lap for too long. As CNet News reports, Intel Mobile Platforms Group head Mooly Eden discussed that problem at this week's Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan, and he said the company has been working on an interesting solution. In essence, Intel wants to use technology from jet engines to keep laptop enclosures cool to the touch:

Eden showed an animation of a jet engine to prove his point. The inside of a jet engine can get as hot as 1,000 degrees centigrade. But the jet engine's wall must be kept cool because it is connected to the wing where the fuel is. To keep the engine heat away from the wing, laminar air flow cooling is used.

A laminar flow occurs when a fluid--or air in this case--flows in parallel layers.

Intel demonstrated a system using the same laminar air flow technology to move the heat off a laptop's skin. "We are licensing it to our customers so they can keep making thinner and thinner laptops," Eden said.

Eden also talked a little bit about Calpella, the next-gen mobile platform that will mark Nehalem's mobile debut in the second half of 2009. He confirmed that Calpella will include processors with integrated graphics cores, and he said mobile Nehalem chips will be able to disable cores to save power.

CNet explains: "For instance, three of the cores can be shut down to save power when the user is doing tasks that don't require a lot of compute power. Then more cores can be turned on depending on the need." Mooly said these changes happen on the fly, transparently to the operating system.

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