Future Samsung Galaxy smartphones may incorporate copper heat pipes
Citing close sources from within Samsung's supply chain, DigiTimes is claiming that the South Korean manufacturer will likely consider integrating vapor chamber heat pipes onto their next generation of smartphones to better aid in the dissipation of waste heat. Prototypes are said to be in development for mass production by 2019.
The prospect of vapor chamber heat pipes in your next flagship smartphone may not be all that surprising. Current smartphone owners who have ever used Google Maps or gaming applications for extended periods of time can likely testify for the very warm surface temperatures. In fact, Samsung purposefully throttles their Exynos SoCs in their flagship Galaxy S smartphones after a few minutes of very high loads in order to keep temperatures in check. Our own stress tests on the Galaxy S8 reveal that surface temperatures can be as warm as 37.5 C while the OnePlus 3T can reach almost 40 C under load.
Beyond personal accounts, previous years have also seen numerous reports of overheating issues with certain Sony smartphones and others that have carried higher-end SoCs from the Qualcomm Snapdragon series. Smartphones will inevitably become faster moving forward should manufacturers continue to push higher pixel counts and AR and VR compatibility. The incorporation of more efficient vapor chamber coolers would be one solution to curbing future throttling and temperature issues.
Heat pipes are standard fare on many flagship smartphones and most every consumer laptop and tablet. A few notebooks integrate flat copper spreaders or vapor chamber heat pipes in lieu of standard heat pipes a la the Razer Blade Pro or Asus G752VY. If the rumors are proven to be true, then Samsung will likely be miniaturizing this same technology to fit onto thinner and lighter smartphone designs.
[November 21, 2017 update: DigiTimes had since changed its article following the publication of ours. A number of smartphones already utilize heat pipes, but some manufacturers may now consider vapor chamber cooling in place of standard heat pipes for future models as they may be more efficient per unit volume. The article has been updated to reflect the change. Thank you for the reader corrections!]