Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/15/idf_intel_bed_safe_laptop/

Intel to keep laptops from losing cool in bed

Chip giant teases with 'pillow-proof' tech

By Tony Smith

Posted in Laptops, 15th September 2010 22:31 GMT

IDF Intel has developed a notebook cooling system it claims will make laptops safe to take to bed.

The chip giant's engineers proved unwilling to lift the covers on their "pillow proof" technology. However, they did say it doesn't involve stuffing up the vents typically found on the base and sides of modern notebooks.

This, they say, would be too "thermally challenging".

It's the flow of air through these ducts that is impeded when users lay their machines down on pillows, duvets, sheets, cushions or even laps.

That, in turn, impedes the laptop's cooling system, causing the machine to lose its cool and, in very rare cases, catch fire or explode.

Laptop batteries are particularly sensitive to temperature. Pillow-jammed vents have been blamed for a number of instances of power cells overheating with incendiary effect.

Intel's efforts are directed more to improving laptops' performance and industrial design as countering conflagrations. Better cooling allows vendors to make notebooks that are thinner, and to speed up processors and graphics chips without having to install more powerful cooling mechanisms too.

Laptops typically show up to 10°C difference between the temperature of their bases when placed on desks or on pillows. The Intel boffins claim their secret system eliminates this difference.

They wouldn't say when their findings will be shared with notebook manufacturers keen to produce bed-friendly laptops. ®