5G brings more design challenges for smartphone manufacturers

5G brings more design challenges for smartphone manufacturers
While companies on both sides of 5G connectivity are preparing for the next generation technology, new obstacles for its implementation continue to emerge. Part makers already have the first 5G modems ready for production, but it seems that integrating them in smartphones will require more than placing one more chip on the motherboard.

Tests of the available solutions showed that during high-performance use, 5G modems require considerable heat dissipation, or in other words, cooling. Cooling a smartphone is already a difficult task, with devices being so thin and tightly packed, so an additional source of heat is nothing to glance over.

According to industry sources, Samsung, LG, Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers that are planning to release 5G phones next year, have contacted parts vendors, looking to test their thermal management solutions. Huawei is reportedly looking to use metal head spreaders, while Samsung and the rest are considering heat pipes. Samsung will likely try to cool the 5G chip with an improved version of its infamous water carbon cooling system.

On the bright side, the upcoming 7 nm main processors have the benefit of producing less heat at the same clock speeds, reducing the overall burden that the new cooling solutions must have.

The efforts that engineers put to make the devices we use possible often go unnoticed, but new technologies like 5G remind us that every new addition to a smartphone comes with hurdles that companies have to overcome.

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4 Comments

1. notmyresident

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 12, 2017

Why/how is Samsung's water-carbon colling system infamous?

2. cozze02

Posts: 128; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Because is the first of its kind in a smartphone, and it works

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

First with a carbon fiber TIM, but heat pipes been used since the Xperia Z2 Doesn't seem to work much better than past heat pipe systems S9+ drops to 862.2 frames (drops 42%)https://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/_processed_/6/0/csm_Screenshot_20180309_104931_GFXBench_GL_4e3380f3d3.jpg Note9 drops to 903.9 frames (also drops 42%, but peak performance improved by 5%)https://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/_processed_/9/a/csm_Screenshot_20180822_120401_GFXBench_GL_8de54e7d8d.jpg Its infamous because Samsung dibbed it their "Water Carbon Cooling System" Which technically is OK, heat pipe does have a tiny ammount of pressurised water/water vapor and its TIM is carbon fiber But many reviewers/media have been falsely calling it water cooling Which is not true as heat pipes aren't water cooling

3. bucknassty

Posts: 1337; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

has anyone asked...do we really need 5g right now?

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