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?



source: Samsung

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
    Samsung TouchWiz UI
Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

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83 Comments

48. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

I really don't see where the counter current comes from, or even the co-current. This is a basic design of a heat exchanger but in order for a heat exchanger to work you need a material in the same or opposite direction with a different temperature.I'd imagine the vapour to be "hot" already, would love to see how it actually works.

40. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

here comes samsung sheep fans denial at it's greatest on yet another disappointing fact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

64. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

What's disappointing? They're still the best phones on the market.

89. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

This coming from an idiot who uses a phone that is chalked full of disappointing facts?!

37. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

So, car engines that need anti-freeze and fans are a failure. lol

31. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

I just can't see how this has any real effect with it being so short that it won't have much chance to evaporate and liquify beyond the moment it reaches boiling temperature.

36. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

(liquid doesnt need to reach boiling point to evaporate)

25. Omarc07

Posts: 594; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

idk i guess that cooling system dont work on my s7 edge cuz it gets pretty hot..

38. JMartin22

Posts: 2429; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Only time I've noticed mine significantly overheat is when it's Fast Charging. I usually just enable Cable Charging now, as it will discharge slower and not degrade the overall integrity of the battery.

80. Omarc07

Posts: 594; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

mines too with the fast charging it gets hot and also when im getting driving directions and lastly when im making a call to someone and i take longer than 10 mins . Other than tht no problems.

88. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Thats' stupid. The reason the phone has fast charging is because the battery is designed around the tecnology of fast charging. The battery isnt going to last any longer if you dont ever fast charge it. You're think you're doing right, but what you are doing makes no sense. Why would you not fast charge a battery designed to be fast charged? I mean really? I think you should just get an iPhone. I dont think you can handle anything smarter.

21. Iodine

Posts: 1520; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Ehhh do I understand cores that samsung is trying to present their "fix" to overheating in the "faces of innovation" manner ? Like they put all performance they had, then they discovered the phone can't stand the heat so they increased the size, battery capacity and added a hetapipe instead of investing into making a more efficient chip and now they present that as killer feature ? And even with that "unique cooling solution" the phone still throttles heavilly to avoid melting under heavy load ? What's the next big thing ? A fan or liquid nitrogen to run at 3Ghz for 2 seconds ?

14. phaneendra_92

Posts: 64; Member since: Oct 12, 2013

"UNIQUE COOLING SYSTEM" Facepalm sony....

95. Clars123

Posts: 1082; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

and off course if you actually read the article and did some research you would actually know how this cooling system is different from Sony's..but off course Samsung had to copy someone right?

5. GreenMan

Posts: 2704; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

DUDE, WHERE'S MY PHONE...??? Remember, there was a Honor 5X giveaway not so long ago??? You haven't disclosed the winners, so far... SERIOUSLY DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR... (ahem)... I mean; MY PHONE...???

2. JMartin22

Posts: 2429; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Despite what the phonearena.com battery test says, I've gotten excellent battery life on the S7 edge. They either need to retest the battery life and update it by: A - Doing a factory reset B - Getting a different Snapdragon unit C - Testing the Exynos version (which usually has higher endurance and less throttling than the SD 820 variant) I've gotten better battery life with this device than either my iPhone 6S Plus or Note5

3. tyrionTheWise unregistered

PA battery test has been known to be crap for over a year now. http://www.anandtech.com/show/10120/the-samsung-galaxy-s7-review/2 ^And that's the snapdragon, not the exynos which does a little better.

11. TerryTerius unregistered

The thing is, it's not like phonearena exists in a vacuum. I don't get why they wouldn't look at the fact that the rest of their peers are getting completely different results and then take a moment to recalibrate their approach because of that. Unless they honestly think literally everyone else is wrong.

62. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's the same as when the S5 display came out. Literally every site tested it as having the brightest max output and the best color calibration, but PA found out bad in each. Displaymate even explained what they were doing wrong, but they stood their ground.

63. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But battery test results are kind of useless. You can't test a battery in every usage situation, people use their devices vastly differently, and that will change the results.

87. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

because Apple is paying them to make Samsung look bad compared to the iPhone. Everyone in the world knows the S and Note, beat the iPhone in all the important things. That is why PA focuses on iPhone benchmarks, because in their minds, the number actually means th device is faster. lol They gotta keep Apple and the fanboys as happy as possible. Because they are snobby winners and terrible losers.

1. tyrionTheWise unregistered

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

4. ishaqthkr

Posts: 159; 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: 5842; 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.

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