Apple is Investigating Liquid Cooled iPhones?
Apple, Samsung and HTC are reportedly investigating the use of ultra-thin heat pipes to cool their upcoming smartphones, reports DigiTimes. The site says heat pipe cooled smartphone models cool be released by the fourth quarter at the earliest.
Notably, NEC has already released a smartphone, the Medias X06E, which uses a heat pipe.
Since the conventional graphite plus foil cooling method is no longer able to dissipate enough heat in modern smartphone models efficiently, after 4G becomes a common transmission specification for smartphones in the future, the heat problem is only expected to become worse. The heat pipe in NEC's smartphone has a diameter of only 0.6mm, far smaller than ultrabook heat pipes' 1-1.2mm, allowing the heat pipe to fit into smartphones' limited space.
Heat pipes contain a liquid that turns into a vapor when coming into contact with a hot interface. The vapor then travels along the heat pipe to the cold interface, condensing back into a liquid, and releasing the latent heat. [More]
Several cooling module players are developing 0.6mm heat pipes; however, yield rates are currently at 30%. They are working aggressively to improve these rates so that their heat pipes can be used in production.