Micropump drivers can liquid-cool smartphones

Micropump drivers can liquid-cool smartphones

New Products |
By Peter Clarke

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Piezoelectric MEMS supplier Boréas Technologies (Bromont, Quebec) is offering its BOS1921 piezoelectric driver IC to help liquid cool smartphones.

Some high-end smartphones are already equipped with passive cooling in the form of evaporation-condensation chambers that can be used to help get heat away from the application processor.

However, a move towards folding phones with flexible screens could reduce the cooling area and the applicability of passive cooling, according to Todd Whitaker, vice president of products and strategy at Boreas.

The low power BOS1021 driver, together with piezoelectric micropumps and cooling films is suitable for pumping liquid round a sealed miniature radiator system for smartphones and other mobile devices the company said. The liquid is likely to be some form of anti-freeze liquid allowing phones and computers to be left in freezing environments and still work on power up.

The BOS1921, can activate the piezo micropump-based cooling system in a mobile device using less than one-tenth of the power of competitive piezo drivers, the company claimed.

“As an integrated platform – which features the Boréas CapDrive BOS1921 piezo driver, piezo micropumps, and a thin layer of liquid cooling film – the piezo micropump approach is a highly efficient cooling solution that actively disperses the heat from the phone’s hot spots. If unchecked, the heat from these hot spots can cause a phone to malfunction or shut down,” said Simon Chaput, founder and CEO of Boréas Technologies, in a statement.

“Piezo-driven cooling solutions have been demonstrated recently inside concept phones,” added Chaput. “After seeing the thermal efficiency and resiliency of this approach, smartphone makers are now taking things one step further: using the piezo micropump-based cooling platform inside mass-production phones.”

Measured cooling system power consumption for driving 5 and 10nF pumps at 3.6 and 5V power supply. Source: Boreas Technologies.

The BOS1921 has a “solution” power consumption of between 40mW and 55mW depending on the micropump capacitance and a factor of between 11 and 14.5 below competitor solutions, the company said. The part has a footprint of 2.1mm by 1.7mm by 0.625mm in a WLSCSP package.

The Boréas CapDrive BOS1921 is currently in mass production for cooling and haptic applications in PC trackpads and mobile devices.

Related links and articles:

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Boreas raises funds to scale haptic driver chip production

MEMS startup raises $100 million to air-cool processors

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