Frore Systems Inc., a startup with a chip that can be used to cool devices such as laptops, has raised $100 million in funding to commercialize its technology.
The funding was provided by Qualcomm Ventures, Mayfield, Addition and Clear Ventures, TechCrunch reported today. Frore Systems has raised a total of $116 million from investors since launch.
The processors in devices such as laptops generate heat that has to be dissipated using a fan or another cooling system to avoid malfunctions. However, many consumer devices can’t accommodate a fan because of space constraints. As a result, hardware makers must take a different approach to preventing their devices from overheating.
Instead of dissipating the excess heat generated by their processors, laptops and other devices without a fan prevent the heat from being generated in the first place. They do so using an approach called passive cooling. With passive cooling, a laptop detects when its processor starts generating excess heat and slows down the processor’s performance, which lowers the temperature inside the device chassis.
San Jose, California-based Frore Systems says that it has developed a more effective approach to device cooling. The startup offers a chip, dubbed the AirJet, that uses jets of air to cool a device’s processor similarly to a fan. The difference is that the AirJet takes up significantly less space than a fan.
Thanks to its compact footprint, the AirJet chip can be incorporated into notebooks and other consumer devices that don’t have space for a fan. As a result, such devices no longer have to lower their processors’ speed to prevent excess heat from building up. By removing the need to decrease processor speeds, Frore Systems says, its technology can improve the performance of consumer devices.
The startup claims that the AirJet enables computer manufacturers to up to double the performance of laptops. Moreover, Frore Systems says that its technology can also improve the performance of other consumer devices such as tablets.
Manufacturers can implement the AirJet in a tablet or laptop by attaching it to the device’s processor. According to Frore Systems, the AirJet absorbs heat with a component known as a heat spreader. After absorbing the heat, the chip dispenses it with jets of air that it generates using components described as “tiny membranes.”
Frore Systems is reportedly working with five of the world’s top 10 device manufacturers as part of its efforts to commercialize its AirJet chip. Additionally, Frore Systems has partnered with Intel Corp. to incorporate the AirJet into laptops based on the chipmaker’s Evo technology. Evo is a set of technical standards for high-end laptops that feature Intel processors.
“Intel’s mission with Intel Evo is to unite the open PC ecosystem to deliver the best possible laptop experiences that people want,” said Josh Newman, the vice president and general manager of mobile platforms at Intel. “Engineering thin, light, stylish laptop designs that offer great performance while remaining cool and quiet are foundational to that mission. Frore Systems’ Airjet technology offers a new and novel approach to help achieve these design goals in new ways.”
Frore Systems will reportedly use the proceeds from its latest $100 million funding round to enhance its AirJet chip’s capabilities. The startup expects to begin shipping the chip to customers in the first quarter of 2023.
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