Every notebook requires a highly-efficient cooling fan. With the market trend pushing toward slimmer and lighter portable models, cooling fans are designed to be the thinnest possible and keep the systems running quietly and stably.
According to market researcher IDC's data, notebooks maintain high growth momentum every year. In particular, the popularity of Apple's iPad has created a new category, which is expected to be the main engine of the overall notebook shipment growth. With new OS development such as Google's upcoming release of its tablet OS, and several IT giants' push for cloud computing, growth in media tablet shipments is promising.
Facing the growing market for mobile computers, the role of cooling solutions in these devices is becoming more important, according to Wei-Kuang Kao, Project Manager of Marketing Center for NS Micro Motor Technology Corp. Kao explains how the mobile-computing boom will bring business opportunities for the company, which specializes in the manufacture of computer fans and blowers. The following is an excerpt of the conversation.
More compact, but still silent with great cooling performance
Cooling fans used in either notebooks or tablets have similar features. They are designed to improve ergonomic cooling performance, noise levels and stability/lifetime, while keeping the system operating temperatures low.
Cooling fans for tablets and other mobile computers, however, still cannot be designed in the same way as those for regular-sized notebooks. A mobile computer comes with a slim and lightweight design, and thus it usually requires a customized cooling device that is able to fit into the small-form-factor container while working as efficiently as possible.
The design of cooling fans built into standard notebook cases is only focused on stability with at least two years of lifetime, which is also fundamentally important for cooling solutions used in tablets and other mobile computers. An insufficient cooling fan can retard the system's speed, and cause over-temperature damage to system components resulting in high maintenance costs.
Cooling modules compose of fans and heat sinks that come with brass push-pins. Cooling fans must have the ability to reduce the temperature of internal laptop components in order to maintain the stability of the system.
Cooling fans for both tablets and notebooks are also designed to operate at moderately low noise levels. It is a matter of comfort allowing system users to be comfortable working in a quiet environment.
NS Micro Motor pays significant attention to the quality of its cooling solutions. Development of each design, even in the mold design stage, requires quality progress so that finished products can satisfy customer needs. As NS Micro Motor manages to ensure product reliability, it has been designated by MSI to supply notebook cooling modules, and partnering with other brand-name vendors.
'Green' cooler for high-performance notebooks
For high-performance notebooks equipped with high-end graphics processors, NS Micro Motor has designed cooling fans that use ball bearings instead of sleeve bearings, as the former are more durable especially at higher temperatures and quieter than the former at higher rotation speeds.
Cooling solutions for high-performance notebooks place a heavier emphasis on power efficiency as the systems consume relatively more power than consumer notebooks. For consumer notebooks, including today's popular mobile devices, fixed-speed fans are generally adopted to maintain thermal stability of devices.
NS Micro Motor also offers PWM-standard linear voltage fans, which provide multi-speed functions without affecting the stability of the system, and also help reduce power consumption. The segment has the potential to grow and eventually go mainstream in the future.
Optimism on demand for mobile tablets
NS Micro Motor has developed a product line targeted at mobile tablets - "ultra-thin" cooling fans - with volume production having already kicked off. The ultra-thin fans are one of NS Micro Motor's innovations as the company is dedicated to R&D in order to avoid competition through price cuts. Specializing in DC axial fans and notebook fans, NS Micro Motor is keeping a close eye on market trends, and has extended beyond the PC market. The company now offers its cooling solutions for consumer, communications and industrial applications, with products UL, CUL, CE, TUV certified and RoHS-compliant. Headquartered in Taiwan, NS Micro Motor has over 20 years experience in designing and producing cooling solutions.