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Thanks to Samsung's new models, heat-pipes might become popular in smartphones

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Thanks to Samsung's new models, heat-pipes might become popular in smartphones
Samsung apparently wasn't convinced that the Snapdragon 820 chipset wouldn't overheat like its predecessor, the Snapdragon 810 chipset. After all, it was Samsung that practically led manufacturers to avoid the Snapdragon 810 SoC whenever possible last year. For Samsung, this led the company to employ their own Exynos 7420 chipset on all of its high end models, even in regions like the U.S. where traditionally a Snapdragon solution was used.

Manufacturers didn't have too many options to replace the Snapdragon 810 with last year. Some turned to the Snapdragon 808 SoC with its hexa-core CPU. Some phone vendors focusing on the Asian markets went with MediaTek. Others throttled down the Snapdragon 810 in an attempt to turn down the heat.

This diagram shows how a heat-pipe keeps a smartphone cool

This diagram shows how a heat-pipe keeps a smartphone cool

Samsung decided that for its new handsets, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, those in the U.S. and China will get the phones powered by the Snapdragon 820. Others will find the Exynos 8890 chipset under the hood of their new Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge unit. But as we said, Sammy might not have been totally comfortable with the heat generated by Qualcomm's latest and greatest chip. We say this because there is speculation that those Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge units powered by the Snapdragon 820 feature a heat-pipe.

Adding a heat-pipe to a smartphone improves the device's ability to cool down. According to a report published today, this is a cooling solution that might be employed in more units in the near future. The report notes that most producers still tend to use graphite in combination with a phone's metal chassis to keep a phone from overheating. Other handsets use software to throttle the CPU when the phone gets too hot.

The majority of suppliers that produce smartphone heat-pipes are so conservative about demand for the product, they have yet to spend the money needed to build a mold. Most handsets require a custom design for the pipe; combined with the short life cycle that smartphones have, heat-pipe makers don't see the point in producing a mold. But if Samsung reveals that there is a heat-pipe inside some of its new flagship phones, perhaps demand for the part rises.

Watch the suppliers, because they will tell the story. Once you see them spending money on molds for heat-pipes, you can be sure that other smartphone manufacturers are using the pipes in order to offer better thermal management for their handsets.

source: Digitimes

107 Comments
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posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:14

1. BradyCrack (Posts: 674; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Would that thicken the devic?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:38 5

27. vincelongman (Posts: 4424; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


These devices already had thin aluminum plates
Replacing those with thin heat pipes would have a thickness difference of probably about 0.3-0.5mm tops

I'm wondering when we will see Fujitsu's heat pipe sytsem
There one would be no different in terms of thickness
http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2015/0312-01.html

And their one would actually improve thermals noticeably
Unlike the current ones which are pretty useless except for glass/plastic phones

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:06 2

87. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


NO! It won't if done right. The Latest S I think are thicker because of the battery. Even if it does make it thicker, SO WHAT!

How thin do you want a phone to be. They are all already too thin or thin enough. We don't need cheap bending phones, which we saw last year.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 10:37

99. j2001m (Posts: 2941; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


This full post is crap phone area, both Samsung own CPU and the sd 820 got the heat pipes due to

SAMSUNG VR

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:10

90. xondk (Posts: 1388; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Not to any horrific degree, depending on how much extra cooling needed maybe 0.3-0.5 mm as also written below, which is not something you will notice, the whole 'thin' race is a bad thing anyway. Phones are getting so thin picking them up from a flat surface can be tricky, if you have larger hands + slick metal designs.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 12:09

103. HighOnAndroidFTW (Posts: 185; Member since: 26 Apr 2015)


PHONE ARENA... Is not "speculation" that there is a heat pipe inside the s7/s7 edge with the 820 in them. Samsung announced it in their unpacked event that there was a great dissipating pipe in the new s7 and s7 edge that used an evaporation technique...

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 12:11

104. HighOnAndroidFTW (Posts: 185; Member since: 26 Apr 2015)


Heat* dissipation pipe

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:14 20

2. submar (Posts: 462; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Z5P is using dual heat pipe.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:55 27

10. TerryTerius (Posts: 1780; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


The difference being that Samsung is a far larger and arguably more influental manufacturer, and thus they have a much better chance of popularizing it.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:39 9

28. vincelongman (Posts: 4424; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Sony have been using heat pipes since the Xperia Z2 AFAIK

But yea TerryTerius is right, Samsung are more influential

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:16

72. magnanimus (Posts: 541; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


You guys mention this fact now but throw a fit when people say the same about Apple. They might not be the first to do some stuff but they certainly used their influential power to make it popular.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:21 3

74. vincelongman (Posts: 4424; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Really?

Anyone but fanboys/haters would agree Apple is the most influential, followed by Samsung

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:53

78. TerryTerius (Posts: 1780; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


I've never taken credit away from Apple for popularizing the modern smartphone or certain other ideas. So I'm not sure what you're talking about.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 07:25

80. magnanimus (Posts: 541; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


I'm not talking about you in particular. Its just one of the norms of the site. Lots of commenters don't giving Apple credit where due.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 07:15 3

79. submar (Posts: 462; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


You're right.
But many ppl will then claim that it is Apple's innovation and bash the others

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:07 2

89. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


No one throws a fit when its Apple, you just see it that way.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:43

96. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


lol techie

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 18:47

108. magnanimus (Posts: 541; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Quite ironic you'll reply to this techie despite the fact you're one of the people I'm referring to. I've seen countless comment from you downplaying touch ID, 64 bit processing and many other features Apple made popular.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:06

88. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


yep and it still a suck phone from Sony.

posted on 28 Feb 2016, 02:29

111. romeo1 (Posts: 718; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


At least it can multi task

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:17 1

3. insyt (Posts: 49; Member since: 16 Sep 2015)


Yeah this article is amazing. The truth is Samsung just copied this feature from devices that used the S810.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:49 20

8. manojmcn (Posts: 534; Member since: 16 Jul 2015)


The difference here is, those manufacturers lied about the heat issue. They kept justifying SD810 and later were forced to switch to S808 to save face. Samsung genuinely explained the design in their presentation.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:11 2

70. Subie (Posts: 738; Member since: 01 Aug 2015)


Microsoft was upfront with their liquid cooling of the sd810 last year.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 10:52

100. mitchytan92 (Posts: 82; Member since: 02 Mar 2015)


Yeap. Remembering LG and HTC...

http://www.droid-life.com/2015/01/22/lg-ummm-no-the-snapdragon-810-is-overheating/

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:19

93. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Not every device that had an S810 used this. Even if they did, Samsung is doing what is needed to insure, what happened to those other lazy OEM's won't happen to them which is why they were smart enough to not even use the S810. Even phone that did have a cheap-pipe, they still ran too hot and required a sofwtare updated to lower the clock to help prevent overheating.

Are they copying? Sure! but yes its so easy to choose the ignorant side of the situation. Copy of not, for such a device this is the only solution to deal with heat. After all PC's and GPU's have been using heat pipes for years. How is moving it to a phone copying? It is simply the only solution for a phone. Also those other OEM's I dont think uses a liquid cooling solutions. They just through some copper rods in the case and hoped for the best and they all got burned...LITERALLY.

So what OEM copy each other. If the copy provides me a benefit, do it.
Samsung isnt taking any credit from any OEM, like Apple typically does.

So what's you beef? EVERYONE COPIES> When is the last time you saw an original idea on a phone? Last time i saw one, it appeared on several Samsung devices first. #justsayin.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:17 1

4. Shuhailnp (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Apr 2013)


i thought the exynos version is using heat pipes in s7!

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:57 3

12. hakn5897 (Posts: 20; Member since: 19 Dec 2015)


exynos version also has a heat pipe

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 03:51

37. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


You don't want heat pipes. If it uses heat pipes, it means there is throttling issues. Like Anandtech reported in Mi5 hand-on:

"A bit worrisome was the rather high 1 core power load but it’s still too early to determine if this is CPU-core related or rather power from another SoC block."

"820’s GPU is yet again oversized for smartphone form-factors as power figures are well above sustainable thermal envelope of phones such as the Mi5, so significant long-term throttling should be expected."

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:51

77. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 857; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)


No plz. Not again. I dont want any heat issue. I didnt purchase any phone in 2015 due to sd810/808. I dont want it happen again.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 10:56 1

101. mitchytan92 (Posts: 82; Member since: 02 Mar 2015)


At least the heat pipes make the situation better than without heat pipes.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:24 3

5. Sidewinder (Posts: 429; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


So that would only make the Exynos chipset better as less heat would mean less waster energy which translates to better battery savings. Sd820 many jot overheat thanks to the heatpipe but still all that generated heat is wasted energy which is a sign of inefficiency. I sure hope the Indian market gets the Exynos variant if this is the case.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 04:09

40. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


Yes, it's Exynos in India.

This is what Anandtech had mentioned about 820-powered Mi5:

"On the GPU side we see some good improvements as well, although it seems the Snapdragon 820’s GPU is yet again oversized for smartphone form-factors as power figures are well above sustainable thermal envelope of phones such as the Mi5, so significant long-term throttling should be expected."

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 04:19

44. Sidewinder (Posts: 429; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


That doesn't seem so encouraging.. Heating can be real annoying as well as wastage of energy.. I know it first hand because I own a Galaxy s4 i9500 Exynos octa which is renowned for being a portable heater. The heat sometimes is so much so that it worries me to use the phone further.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 10:19

97. mitchytan92 (Posts: 82; Member since: 02 Mar 2015)


Hmm now I am curious about how S7 with all those heat pipes are gonna perform.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:45

6. tacarat (Posts: 769; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


Samsung? I thought it was Qualcom that should get the credit.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:52 35

9. hakn5897 (Posts: 20; Member since: 19 Dec 2015)


for making heating issues?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:09 1

16. cheetah2k (Posts: 1576; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha :)

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 08:59 1

84. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


RoTfLmFaO

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 03:59 4

38. tacarat (Posts: 769; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


Right on the nose.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:17

91. xondk (Posts: 1388; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


psh after nvidia 7950GX2, no heating issue scares me, that thing was a radiator, it could heat up a room quite effectively if you just gamed with moderate stuff back then.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:46 1

7. manojmcn (Posts: 534; Member since: 16 Jul 2015)


PhoneArena- Is it official that only the S7/S7 Edge models powered by SD820 uses the heat pipes and not the ones with Exynos Octa? I find it hard to believe. Because I thought, since these phones are majorly touted as pro gaming & VR enabled sets Samsung went a little ahead to make sure the heat generation prolonged use(esp with those larger batteries) is taken care of. Isn't it bad to put just one chip in suspicion based on old rumors. Since Samsung made the disclosure of the new heat pipe in their presentation, I think the design is applicable to all S7/S7 Edge models irrespective of the SOC.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:56

11. hakn5897 (Posts: 20; Member since: 19 Dec 2015)


exynos version also has a heat pipe.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 01:59 3

13. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Wish my A9 overheated so I could have a cool heat pipe

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:06

14. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


be grateful that it performs very well without throttling.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:12 1

20. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Heat-pipe is a terrible design decision. I can already see S7 overheating LOL. A9 is an amazing SoC and Apple isn't idiot like Samsung to put a heat-pipe in a passively cooled smartphone.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 06:19 1

73. magnanimus (Posts: 541; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


In case you didn't catch it, that was sarcasm.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:19 1

92. xondk (Posts: 1388; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Leading the heat away with one of the most effective ways to do that is a terrible design choice? how? that is exactly what they are designed for so the phone doesn't overheat? it uses a larger surface to cool down with leading to overall lover temperatures?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 09:31 2

94. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Heat pipes are a terrible design decision? Really? So why do PCs even with active cooling have them? Why do consumer and professional grade GPU's have them?

The concept of the pipe is to draw the heat away from the chip in the event it gets to hot.

Considering what 90% of the peopel int he world use their phoen for which is texting, music and video and basic games, the solution will likely never even be used Also, since Samsung phones by default how power save mode active, the chances of this happening to most users is 0%. Its only the wanna be gamer who think their phone is a video game machine is the ones who will have trouble.

Recording 4K for long period above 5 mins could drive the CPU up. However, with a pipe that could mean being able to simply record a longer video.

if you think its a terrible solution, which we have used in computers for longer than you've been alive, then why don't you put on yoru engineer cap and come up with a multi-million dollar better solution and sell it to the OEM vs sitting her and trying to be all smart by complainign about it.

Don't like the solution, don't buy the phone. I didnt even see any huge problems with most users who had a device with the S810. Sure lots of people had issues, the majority didn't.

As iPhone users typically say, if the problem isnt widespread, then it really isn't a problem. Its more of an annoyance for people who actually had the problem which was like how many?

We have no idea how the phone will perform. To me the 820 is just the 810 with a new name. Qualcomm chips offer better performance. Chips get hot only under very heavy load. Most peopel will NEVER drive a phoen to that amount of load, so what exactly is the point.

Even if they do, Samsung provided a solution that must work. After all, unlike Apple; Samsung actually rigorously test their phones. How many Samsung phones have been released with out the box terrible experience where it has a huge amount of issues? NONE. Can Apple say this? NO! Samsung phones do have problems and unlike Apple, they have never denied one. They have always stated when aware, that they are aware and are working a solution. This solution must work. We will find out in tests...right?

So how about we dont pass any judgment without confirmation that there actually is an issue.

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 12:37

110. ecmedic4 (Posts: 335; Member since: 02 May 2013)


Stop being a fanboy. Samsung phones have had issues out of the box before and you know it. Just cause you love samsung like they are your gf and hate anything Apple doesn't mean you should lie thru ur teeth. What about the S3 issues with cracks around the camera on the blue model, or I think it was the S4 with camera issues right after release. Anyone that comes here enough knows that your nothing more than a troll that claims samsung does no wrong and are totally perfect. You claim your not a fanboy of any company but your comments say very much otherwise. They are just phones, get a life.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:08 2

15. xperiaZlover (Posts: 202; Member since: 15 Nov 2015)


Z5p did a great job taming the dragon. Not only did it tame the dragon z5p had the best performance of a sd810 device.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 03:19

34. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1214; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


the Z5p was also the last device to get the SD810, so obviously they had to do something about it?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:09 1

17. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Heatpipe is not a good thing under a passively cooled body. It spreads the heat inside your phone, making processor run at max clock speed for extended periods, making your phone heat up more.

It's just a marketing gimmick, nothing more. Nothing can destroy heat, it's a form of energy. If you believe that heat-pipes keep your phone cool, either you've never done science in high-school or you're just dumb.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:36 11

26. adrianzka (Posts: 60; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


Heatpipes will not cool your smartphone of course, as you said. But they would spread the heat generated by the SoC better around the glass back and metal edges, reducing the amount of hot spots (still hot tho), because AFAIK glass is more insulating of heat when compared to metal. A larger surface area to dissipate the heat would lead to a more even heat transfer, not by much, but pretty decent nonetheless.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:48

29. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Yeah, but that would still allow the SoC for sustaining the clock speed for longer, instead of throttling down, which will generate more heat compared to no heatsink. Also the whole phone will become hot.

You are forgetting that in the case of heat pipe, more heat will be generated in comparison to no heat pipe as processor doesn't throttle down. So even if it spreads out, the phone will be still as hot, and it will be hot over a larger area, not just one spot.

So a heatsink makes your phone hotter, not colder. Yes, it increases performance but at the cost of more heat and battery drain.

The fact that S7 needs a heat-sink tells us that the processor is crap. If it was as good as A9, it wouldn't have needed it.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 02:58 4

31. vincelongman (Posts: 4424; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


"The fact that S7 needs a heat-sink tells us that the processor is crap."

By that logic the A9 would crap (but it's not, far from it actually)
The iPhone has a full metal body, which likely can dissipate even more heat that a glass back and thin heat pipe

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 03:36

36. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


The metal body is not made specifically to dissipate heat. It's for design and durability. Quote me on this, but I think SD 820 is gonna heat up pretty badly. Also, anandtech found the same as S7 and G5 units they had heated up a lot.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 04:08

39. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


You are comparing a 1.6ghz vs 2.3ghz Cpu. IOs is vs Android. IOs does not require that much Cpu processing like Androids. You are dissing a powerful soc vs a standard soc. Why would you compare iOS to Android? Big difference.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 04:35

48. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Just stop saying stuff which you don't understand. You're just embarrassing yourself. Comparing twister with kryo clock-per-clock shows how little you know.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 05:04

53. S.R.K. (banned) (Posts: 678; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


And do explain? IOs is a dumbass unix OS. Android Linux is running on java, so obviously it will need more Cpu power. And Art is still heavier than iOs. If anyone can try to use Exynos socs on iOS it would be what?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 05:12

57. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Exynos will still be slower than A9, no matter what OS it runs on.

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