Coolchip Technologies teases a low-profile “kinetic cooler”

Remember that awesome air-bearing heat exchanger that Sandia National Laboratories developed way back in 2011? Coolchip Technologies partnered with Cooler Master to bring out a similar cooler back in January of last year, but that partnership seems to have been for naught. Undaunted, Coolchip is bringing out a smaller design that appears to be based on the same concept.

The teaser image was posted on the company's Facebook page, and it apparently depicts a "low-profile kinetic cooler" for Intel processors with TDPs up to 70W. While that dissipation figure isn't especially impressive, this thing is smaller than even the Intel stock cooler, and it should be very quiet. No details yet on pricing, but Coolchip Technologies says this heatsink is coming soon. Given its extended nascense, let's hope that's the case.

Comments closed
    • Dysthymia
    • 3 years ago

    Can this be mounted both horizontally and vertically?

    Could it not be scaled up to two or three times the height?

    • nico1982
    • 3 years ago

    @Techreport

    Do you plan to review one? It would be very interesting to see the difference in noise and dissipation over more conventional setups.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      I mean, they’d have to release it first. I think it’d be interesting to review if it ever makes it onto the market.

    • FanlessTech
    • 3 years ago

    The future of cooling has no moving parts.

    • dragosmp
    • 3 years ago

    This looks like a radial turbine shaped as a cooler. All their claims are correct when one talks about a radial flow turbine (low blade-to-boundary distance, etc); albeit the flow will be more efficient, I’m not sure it matters at all for a cooler, as increasing the blade diameter is an even better way to increase efficiency and flow rate (aka switching from 92mm to 120mm fan). Seems like a solution is search for a problem, call me skeptic.

    • yogibbear
    • 3 years ago

    Why is it called a kinetic cooler? Isn’t it just the exact same thing as normal CPU coolers but with different designed heat sink and maybe some different choices in metallurgy for more efficient heat transfer (i.e. make the spinning bit [sic] “fan” out of metal)?

      • Pulsar_the_Spacenerd
      • 3 years ago

      The idea with kinetic coolers is the heat causes them to spin, rather than a motor. That is why the fan is made of metal, it must be able to heat up with the rest of the cooler.

      However, there is clearly a 4-pin fan cable on this one, so I have no idea what it’s doing.

        • eloj
        • 3 years ago

        They’d probably have to provide RPM data or pretty much no motherboard would boot [cleanly] out of the box. “Err CPU Fan.”

        • Wirko
        • 3 years ago

        The cable is putting excess energy back into the system.

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      The spinning fan it is the heatsink, not actually a fan, even if it doubles as one if you have a conventional heatsink on the perimeter as in the design above.
      The point of the spinning heatsink is to remove the dead air resting on the static fins on conventional heat sinks and thus improving the heat transfer because the difference between the air and the heatsink is optimized. Ence kinetic, because non static.

    • iatacs19
    • 3 years ago

    I’ll believe it when I see it for sale at newegg.com, I have been duped too many times by these kinds of announcements. 🙁

      • tsk
      • 3 years ago

      I WANT TO BELIEVE!
      Also price.

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        Some where between $5 and $WTF

        • iatacs19
        • 3 years ago

        “I’m a medical doctor!” -DS 😀

    • Captain Ned
    • 3 years ago

    Kinetic cooler. Second Law fail (and it ain’t Asimov being dissed here).

    This is orthogonal to my reality, with dire apologies to Sadi Carnot.

    Of course, those Three Laws tell us that a free lunch is thermodynamically impossible.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Second law [i<]not applicable[/i<]. The heatsink isn't an isolated system, assuming that's what you're implying: The insulating boundary layer between the heatplate and the spinning heatsink (aka, the 'air bearing') shouldn't be viewed as an insulator once the system is actually in motion. The two surfaces have such a huge velocity relative to the physical gap between them that you're using air as a heat transfer fluid. It's [i<]superconvection[/i<], for want of a layman term, effectively creating a replacement for thermal paste. I don't know how effective it is compared to thermal paste but clearly it's enough to not be the bottleneck for up to 70W over that surface area and therefor clearly enough to connect the two parts thermodynamically and make the use of the second law inappropriate.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, this is like Maxwell’s Demon, which also doesn’t violate the second law because it exists outside the system.

        • Wirko
        • 3 years ago

        However, there’s friction in the air between the surfaces, and I don’t think it’s negligible. After all, it’s how most electricity is converted to heat in a hard disk drive.
        With friction in mind, the following quote from the linked TR article sounds outright scary: “heatsink at a few thousand RPM generates a centrifugal pumping effect that shrinks the boundary layer between the cooling fins and the air by a factor of 10”.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          It’s 2000rpm if you watch the Sandia Labs video. That’s not going to be super-quiet but it’s slower than a stock intel cooler and should be far more dust-tolerant too.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Why? It’s not powered by the thermals, it’s powered the old fashioned way, so it’s not creating more energy than it expends.

    • Waco
    • 3 years ago

    I’m glad this tech is finally coming to market! I’d love for OEM coolers to adopt this tech, though I’m not hopeful.

    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    Interesting — I’m intrigued. But unless it’s quieter than a 1200rpm Slipstream @ 5v, than the only thing it offers over a good Scythe/Thermalright is the space savings.

    [sub<]Edit: Edited wrong post. Edit removed.[/sub<]

      • Bobs_Your_Uncle
      • 3 years ago

      This video from Sandia National Labs ( [url<]https://youtu.be/JWQZNXEKkaU[/url<] - run time 6:15 ) provides a general high-level overview of the cooler. The aspect of sound levels is addressed at 3:15 into vid. Depending upon personal hearing sensitivity, audible noise falls somewhere in the range between "very low" to "is this thing on?" Of course this is all pre-product release informational/promotional content on the concept, so claims will need to be independently confirmed, but it may hold some real promise. ( FWIW, there are other YouTube videos by Linus Tech, New Egg, etc. from CES 2015 before the CoolChip/Cooler Master partnership split. These vids display an array of cooler sizes for different applications/thermal ranges. )

    • Kougar
    • 3 years ago

    I bet some enthusiasts will have low-profile fingers after using it for awhile.

    • Shobai
    • 3 years ago

    The heatsink itself may be low profile, but unless you have a duct to the fan you’re going to get a lot of hot air recirculated.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      Depends on the case and the cooling. In a case with decent fans, there should be a general movement of cool air into the case and warm air out of it. Afterall, most of the best GPU coolers do essentially the same thing, dumping heat inside the case and expecting something else to take care of it.

      And in a low-profile case (which this seems aimed at), there should be a vent immediately above the cooler anyway, no ductwork required.

        • Shobai
        • 3 years ago

        Yes, exactly. Duct or intake, you want fresh air entering the heatsink.

        My understanding was that this wundertech was supposed to produce quieter heatsinks; if you need to rely on other fans to produce air movement, how does this improve the current situation? If you have a low profile case, these other fans need be be low profile [and are usually noisy – net loss?]. If you have a case wide enough for, say, a slow 120mm fan to provide airflow, why not get a heatsink with more dissipation surface area to begin with?

        No, this only seems to make sense in situations where this would be the only fan in the system. As such, I think my comment stands: you’ll want to block the recirculation path if you want good cooling performance, which can effectively be done with an intake duct. I would suggest that’s good practice with any heatsink.

      • DrCR
      • 3 years ago

      Ducting hasn’t been done for good reason for, what, a decade or so. Case airflow is simply less than optimal when a duct is introduced unless the case has been designed from the onset with a duct as the integral part of the design.

      Edit: For a non-tower design like this, I do like to use a blow upwards rather than below downwards (sideways in this case) CPU HSF setup, even when a bit less efficient, to aid in exhaust. The power mosfets don’t get as much airflow with this route though. that said, this goes back to the Socket-A era with the pre-tower Thermalright designs of the day.

      It’s hard to beat a proper tower HS design, and we can all thank Prescott for prompting such development.

        • Shobai
        • 3 years ago

        Please see my reply to UberGerbil, but basically I agree – you’ve got to put thought into your airflow path, because there’s a limit to “add more fans!!” as a band aid [and especially if this thing is supposed to be for low profile systems] since fluids don’t really like turning corners.

        If you’re running a modern case and a tower style heatsink, you basically have a ‘duct’ [if you will] because the heatsink sits in between the graphics card and top of the case, with the motherboard and side of the case enclosing the other dimension. You aim intake fans at the heatsink, you use an exhaust fan, and you get a general movement of air from intake to exhaust with little hot air recirculation – a basic ‘duct’.

        If you’re using a top down style heatsink, you still want to give the heatsink fresh air and limit recirculation.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    Oh this looks just perfect for my brand new Pentium G4400!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This