Samsung details how it engineered the unique cooling system in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Samsung details how it engineered the unique cooling system in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Back when the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced, the first teardowns of the handsets revealed some sort of a flat piping running around the processor area, presumably a tiny cooling system. Samsung then confirmed that the phones do indeed feature this, when talking about its new Game Launcher setup: "the cooling system in these phones, with a very thin thermal spreader, keeps devices cool, so gamers can focus on winning."

Today, the company posted a whole interview with the "cool" kids from the engineering department that designed the unique heat pipe in the S7 and S7 edge. We say unique, as it is the thinnest, tiniest spreader we've seen, and the engineering talent confirms that, at 0.4mm in diameter and just 0.2mm wide space inside, it is the most compact such system in the market at the moment.

The interview reveals that the engineers couldn't find an off-the-shelf solution that would do the job, so they designed one from scratch, experimenting with alloys and metal mesh inside the pipe, as well as with the exact placement, so as to preserve the phone's structural rigidity. As a result, the thermal spreader in the S7 has heat conductivity 50 times higher than that of pure copper. 

The flat heat pipe uses a tiny amount of water that constantly evaporates and travels as steam away from the processor to cool down in the other end, then condense back, spreading the heat evenly around. It thus prevents thermal throttling of the CPU/GPU combo, so that gamers are always getting the maximum out of their device, when the cooling system is paired with power management on software level. Why did Samsung go through all that trouble?


Samsung details how it engineered the unique cooling system in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

source: Samsung

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)

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83 Comments

1. tyrionTheWise unregistered

'If you need a heat spreader in your phone, your SoC is a fail' -Anandtech.

4. ishaqthkr

Posts: 155; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

If you have a technology to prevent over heating and you don't use just because it's called an SOC fail, you're a failure.

6. Unordinary unregistered

Pretty sure I'll side with Anandtech here. Always have.

98. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Until Apple put it in.

99. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Anandtech writers are engineers, but not mechanical or material engineers So maybe thats why they dont understand why phones with glass backs needs a heat speader to compete with full metal phones

8. tyrionTheWise unregistered

If your SoC can't remain in TDP limits without throttling, it's a fail. The A9 is faster than SD 820 in most scenarios, made on an inferior process(LPE) and still doesn't throttle even a little even in a 4" phone. And that's a 6 month older design. I'd call SD820 a failure.

16. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

You are up on them using this for VR When as the A9 done VR with 2k screen or any content with 2k screen

20. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

The A9 uses the iPhone's metal casing as a heat pipe. Glass isn't a conductor like aluminium, thus Samsung is compensating for that with this heat pipe. By using glass instead of metal, they retain wireless charging benefits.

29. tyrionTheWise unregistered

"wireless charging benefits" LOL, best joke I read today. Wireless charging is useless. It's not wireless at all and requires more constraints than wired charger. You can't even move your phone while charging. Would you call your router providing wireless internet if you had to place your phone on the router? Did you see anyone complaining that G5 or m10 lacks wireless charging? That shows no one cares about that gimmick. -A guy who has a wireless charger.

34. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Yeah it's gimmicky and I wouldn't buy a phone based on it in it's current state, but no harm in having it. Especially when integrated conveniently in your desk or dash board. Besides, when it actually gets as useful and practical as what WiTricity has (https://youtu.be/MgBYQh4zC2Y ), you'd still need a non conducive casing to utilize it. Eventually, Samsung will call that an upgrade to their wireless charging.

35. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

dumbest thing you've posted. On this account or the previous one.

46. Shocky unregistered

Seems if anyone writes something you disagree with it's a joke, you're such a child. I for one would like the HTC and LG to support wireless charging, I don't like cables so the less time I have to mess around with them the better.

53. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

full metal phone cannot have wireless charge ability end of the story Shocky.

101. Shocky unregistered

And? HTC don't have to stick with a metal back.

52. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yeah had one for my nexus 7 2013 edition and just stoped using it. Made my nexus 7 get pretty hot and charged way slower than with cable.

84. fay99

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

You can (regardless of efficiency), it does exist qi power banks

85. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Oh yeah forgot about that.

92. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

It's wireless by all official definitions as defined decades ago as there is no wire connecting the 2 devides. And yes, if you had to place your phone on the router, it would still be wireless. The same way we've been calling the charging of many electric toothbrushes wireless for a long time. It's not a gimmick either. All charging ports fail sooner or later, as do charging cables. Simply one thing less to worry about. Not to mention all the people catapulting their phones through rooms when tripping over/getting stuck behind cables hanging around everywhere.

23. WPX00

Posts: 509; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

The 820 is a failure - it's only marginally (like really marginally) faster in CPU benchmarks over the Exynos 7420, and despite having half the number of cores, it also loses in efficiency to Samsung's Exynos 8890. But as we saw last year, does anyone not named Huawei or Samsung really have any other choice?

55. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

WPX00 the new Exynos throttle like a bitch and loose nearly 50% of CPU and GPU speed after 30-40 min of gaming. SD820 CPU NEVER throttle and the GPU throttle max 20% after hours of gaming. So in the end as the SD820 GPU is better as well if you are a gamer the SD820 is the king.

66. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Both Socs are crap. That's what I'm telling here dumbass. 820 has major battery issues and 8890 needs some work in kernel. I'm pretty sure that the exynos remains cooler though, so the throttling is due to kernel, not thermals and hence can be tweaked by a custom kernel or update. Anyway, both 8890 and 820 are garbage compared to the A9. A10 will annihilate both of these. And no, the 820 lags in real games. Check pocketnow reviews of s7 and g5. It's shamefully bad chip and even the note 5 performs better in real games. You can fap to the benchmarks on the 820 though.

70. ishaqthkr

Posts: 155; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Tyrion i've seen you mugging off the 820 and exynos for days now, and that too by comparing with false A9 characteristics, and with A10, a chip that isn't even out yet. Irony is that you're the one saying that youI'll wait for x,y,z tests first in other posts.

90. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Well he like to saying this and that things are crap and inferior compared something that doesn't exist or not out yet from the specs he read. In case of the cooling if its there to prolonged the time before throthling at the time of high performance use or gaming than that's not because the chip is suck (like most SD 810 phone with cooling system). Though I agree SD 820 and exynos are not as efficient as it should now.

91. Shocky unregistered

He could be waiting a very long, mobile devices are not high priority for Anandtech, they often follow up months later or just don't bother.

93. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

"both 8890 and 820 are garbage compared to the A9" Someone lost the plot. The 8890 has a faster CPU (forget those browser scripts that tell us nothing, because different browsers, different optimizations) than the A9 still and at least the Mali GPU throttles less over 16 sets of consecutive GFXBench tests than a 6S and runs cooler, despite the much higher resolution and higher total performance. The A10 will be faster? No sh!t sherlock... It's called progress.

77. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

please show mw this info because im sure you are talking s**t as always when it comes to exynos socs..it even have 30% better battery than sd820 and the CPU on the 8890 is miles better than the sd820,GPU is the same in real world minor deffrences(1-4FPS) so where is your proof?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcDoFRN2HAc GPU:http://www1-lw.xda-cdn.com/files/2016/03/compete-1.png my exynos model has never and I repeat NEVER gone over 31c in normal usage while gaming for 1.5h it has about 34c and 38c while on VR..

43. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

There is a reason why it doesn't throttle, it has a higher throttle threshold.. The A9 is the hottest of the new socs and won't have the same lifespan

44. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

http://www.xda-developers.com/s7-edge-throttling-thermals-benchmark-stress-tests-of-sd820-810-808-exynos-7420/ Scroll down and you will see the A9 have the hottest soc(+40c) while the others stay at 36-37c

60. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Good find!

51. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Tyrion then the new Exynos is a bigger faillure as i found out on the web its throttle way more than SD 820 :) SD820 dont throttle the CPU EVER and only slightly throttle the GPU after sometime and even so after 10 test in a row its still pretty stable. Exynos throttle like a bitch up to 25% after 15 min and nearly 50% after 30-40 min both GPU and CPU. So i would not call SD820 a faillure but a nice amelioration compared to ALL past SOC used in android. On thats end the A9 is trully the king but SD820 is closing the gap.

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