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Thermal Design Challenges of the Microsoft Surface Studio Computer
Keywords: Thermal design, active cooling, airflow
To make a good thermal design for consumer electronics, there are three major factors thermal designers need to deal with. They are industrial design, system performance and user perception. Industrial design includes the system size, geometry, material, weight and cosmetics. System performance means meeting the performance goals at the maximum thermal design power for the system in its normal operating environment. User perception includes both touch temperature and acoustics. The most difficult part of thermal design is balancing all three factors. The Microsoft Surface Studio is an all-in-one device which was launched by Microsoft at the end of year 2016. It has a simple, clean and stunning appearance. Behind the beautiful industry design, the largest challenge for engineers was how to pack the components into a small box without scarifying system performance and user perception. Since active cooling is used to dissipate most of heat from the system, the most difficult part for the thermal engineer is getting sufficient airflow through the compact system without violating the acoustic noise goals. It took a huge effort to design and optimize the airflow path, vents, heat exchangers and blowers. In addition, touch temperature mitigation, noise reduction and thermal control algorithms were optimized to provide the best user experience. The presentation will talk about how the team achieved the final thermal design from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Lessons learned though the entire thermal design process will also be shared.
Bo Dan, Thermal engineer
Redmond, WA

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