To summarise, a variety of scenarios can determine the impact thermal throttling has on a system. Cooling solutions, ambient airflow and ambient operating temperature are the three main factors to take into consideration. In many industrial applications, active cooling is not feasible and therefore the need to look at ways of passively cooling a system whilst trying to negate the impact of processor throttling due to overheating is paramount in solution selection.
This becomes more of a challenge the smaller the system is, as the real estate required for the processor heatsink is reduced, making the air dissipation less effective.
So what is the solution? How can I cram 100 per cent of my processing performance into a small, fanless system?
First we need to look at the materials being used. A typical fanless industrial system is made from aluminium, and whilst this is a fantastic metal, strong, low cost, easy to work and corrosion resistant, it also isn’t the best choice for conducting heat. So what is? Well, gold and silver are, but 99 per cent of the time we aren’t making industrial computer systems and not contemplating the final price tag of the solution. This is where copper comes in.
Copper is over two times as efficient at transferring heat than aluminium. However it comes at a greater cost and is more difficult to work. Additionally, there are other factors to consider when using copper such as its weight which is twice as dense as aluminium/ It also has a tendency to oxidise into a nasty green colour, like a pair of cheap earrings, certainly not the look you want for your hardy industrial computer system.
The answer, then, is to look at a combination of both of these metals, maximising the conductive effectiveness of the copper to draw heat away from the processor quickly and allow it to maintain its full performance before passing that heat to a lightweight aluminium chassis. The challenge in doing this is utilising the correct combination of metals to maximise performance benefits.
Captec has taken on this challenge and designed a new range of industrial computers featuring high performance processors in a small form factor fanless design. Using a combination of copper and aluminium in an innovative heatsink design, the Captec E-Series has been designed to operate under full CPU loads in high ambient temperatures, ensuring your application gets 100 per cent of the advertised CPU performance, 24/7, even under extreme pressure in challenging environments.
With three different form factors, the Captec E-Series can also be customised and configured to the exact needs of your application.