Microsoft Surface Book 3 could use innovative tech to keep cool under pressure

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has an idea for a smart new cooling system which may benefit its laptops or hybrids going forward, and could possibly end up in the Surface Book 3.

The cooling solution, which is designed for laptops or 2-in-1 devices, was recently spotted in a patent. As the patent description notes, the trend towards ever-thinner portable hardware makes cooling powerful mobile processors and other components a tougher challenge – and this concept aims to tackle that challenge.

The cooling system described involves optimizing thermal management in the device, using sensors for temperature readings, which are in turn used to adjust fan speeds – with the extra touch being the addition of ‘airflow guides’.

Essentially, these airflow guides can be repositioned (by rotating, or pivoting) to adjust the overall flow of air throughout the chassis, directing it more appropriately to wherever any hotter spots may be. With more effective cooling, there will be less danger of things like CPU throttling – which notches performance levels down to prevent overheating – kicking in.

Surface solution?

Windows Latest reported on the patent, theorizing that this could potentially be a cooling solution that Microsoft incorporates into its Surface Book 3, which recently popped up on the rumor mill. And as it’s a powerful hybrid, that makes sense – fans are already used in some Surface Book models (although others are passively cooled, meaning there’s no fan).

Better cooling will of course mean better performance for whatever device(s) this solution might end up being applied to. That’s because critical components like the CPU or GPU will be able to run faster, when they are more ably cooled – and as we’ve already mentioned, there’s less chance of any throttling occurring.

Furthermore, an improved cooling solution potentially means a longer lifespan for the hardware (less heat stress over time is obviously better for longevity).

Bear in mind as with all patents, this is a concept which may never leave the research and development stage, so it might not actually ever appear in one of Microsoft’s finished products.

The Surface Book 3 is purportedly set to use Intel 10th-gen Ice Lake chips – or possibly Tiger Lake, current speculation runs – which should provide an impressive performance boost over current models, and perhaps even more so with smart new cooling chops.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).