If you get an opportunity to go inside the modest premises of Frore Systems, a startup backed by an impressive $116 million in funding, you will encounter a MacBook Air like no other – a MacBook surgically enhanced to showcase the prowess of an exotic cooling technology.
Frore’s flagship product, the AirJet Mini, is a revolutionary piezoelectric cooling chip weighing a mere nine grams and thinner than two US quarters stacked together. Nominal power consumption of one watt per chip belies its capacity to dissipate an additional 4.25 watts of heat. The pivotal question emerged: what if these AirJets were employed to cool a MacBook Air, a device renowned for its fanless design?
The answer, demonstrated through hands-on testing, revealed a significant performance boost for the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air equipped with Frore’s AirJet technology. The modified laptop exhibited remarkable endurance, outlasting its unaltered counterpart during intensive benchmarks like Cinebench R23 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The enhanced MacBook Air consistently maintained higher frame rates, showcasing the potential of Frore’s cooling solution.
However, the real innovation lies in the ability to implement AirJet technology in ultra-thin laptops. Frore’s engineers meticulously integrated the AirJets into the 15-inch MacBook Air, reducing its thickness to an impressive 0.45 inches (11.5mm). This achievement required precision engineering, including milling the laptop’s lid and sacrificing components like speakers, Wi-Fi antenna, and even the internal keyboard connector.
Frore envisions a future where laptops can be even thinner, reaching a mere 9.5mm in thickness with a thinner keyboard and a slim OLED display, all made possible by the AirJet technology. While concerns about power consumption were raised, Frore asserts that the AirJet part of a complete system can draw as little as 0.1W or 0.2W when idle, ensuring minimal impact on battery life during everyday tasks.
In conclusion, Frore Systems’ AirJet Mini presents a compelling case for redefining the thermal management landscape in laptops. While not entirely obsoleting traditional fans, the AirJet solution offers comparable performance with less noise in a more confined space. The potential applications extend beyond laptops, with Frore exploring possibilities in mini-PCs, SSDs, webcams, and even gaming devices like the Steam Deck. As the AirJet Mini enters mass production, the tech industry eagerly awaits its integration into consumer devices, potentially ushering in a new era of high-performance, ultra-thin laptops.