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John O | September 2018

Microsoft patents thermal docking system for mobile computing devices

By Josh Perry, Editor


According to a report from WindowsLatest.com, Microsoft has a new patent application in the works for a thermal dock for mobile computing devices, which would cool devices that were having thermal issues.


The thermal dock will work with any mobile computing devices. (Wikimedia Commons)


The patent was filed in February and recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent details a thermal dock that includes thermoelectric components, a spring-loaded heat sink, and one or more fans to actively cool the heat sink.


The computing device will connect to the dock and communicate with it through transceivers that will notify users when it is cooled and will slows down processing speeds to reach necessary thermal limits.


Microsoft explained in the patent application, ““As devices get smaller (e.g., thinner), thermal management becomes more of an issue. Depending on the thickness of the device, there may not be sufficient room within the device for active thermal management components such as, for example, fans. Also, as mobile devices (e.g., phones and tablets) replace larger laptop and desktop computers, the microprocessors may sometimes be tasked with running a full desktop environment and may thus generate more heat. The mobile device may be positioned on a thermal dock to remove enough heat from the mobile device so that the mobile device may run the full desktop environment.”


The patent explains that this dock could be used for any mobile device, including laptops. Sensors will measure the temperature on the outside case of the device and ensure that it remains at usable levels, which Microsoft said is 15-45°C.


The patent continued, “Thermal management systems and corresponding use methods are described herein. A thermal management system includes a thermal dock operable to cool a computing device in physical contact with the thermal dock. The thermal dock includes a housing, a first thermal management device supported by the housing, and a second thermal management device physically connected to the first thermal management device. The first thermal management device is a different type of thermal management device than the second thermal management device.”


The full patent application can be viewed at http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180239404.pdf.

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