OWC and Frore Systems demonstrated silent 32 TB and 64 TB solid-state storage devices that use Frore's AirJet Mini coolers at the Flash Memory Summit 2023. Both devices promise consistently high performance while remaining completely quiet. Furthermore, using Frore's AirJet cooling systems opens doors to high-capacity SSD storage solutions that do not use fans.

OWC demonstrated its 64 TB Mercury Pro U.2 Dual with eight 8 TB M.2-2280 SSDs inside and its 32 TB U2 Shuttle with four 8 TB M.2 drives inside at the show. The peripherals maker said that with the AirJet Mini technology, its 64 TB OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual achieves consistent sequential write speeds of 2200 MB/s to 2600 MB/s. However, it does not disclose how fast such a configuration is when only an internal fan is used. OWC says on its website that the enclosure can saturate a Thunderbolt 3 interconnection with up to 2800 MB/s read/write speed when equipped with multiple drives.

OWC's Mercury Pro U.2 Dual and U2 Shuttle are essentially PCIe 3.0 SSD carriers, and such drives do not tend to get very hot, so applying Frore's premium AirJet cooling technology to them sounds overkill. But there are two things to note here. First, OWC's Mercury Pro U.2 Dual comes with a 3,000-rpm fan, and the device is not completely quiet out-of-box, so using AirJets removes the fan and makes it utterly quiet. Secondly, by using Frore's AirJets with existing carriers, OWC sets the stage for subsequent generations of Mercury Pro U.2 Dual and U2 Shuttle that will house faster and hotter SSDs requiring decent cooling to ensure consistent performance.

Frore's thin membrane-based AirJet Mini measures 41.5 mm × 27.5 mm × 2.8mm and weighs 11 grams; it is designed to dissipate 5W of heat, and integrating multiple chips amplifies the heat removal capacity proportionally. Modern PCIe Gen5 drives can dissipate considerably more than 5W under high load so they will need more than one AirJet Mini.

"It is very exciting to see the application and benefits for our solutions that the Frore Airjet system presents," said Larry O’Conner, CEO of OWC. "I look forward to taking our solutions further and farther in partnership with Frore. The many ways this technology allows us to increase capacity, long term level up design, improve customer experience and application suitability has opportunities that are endless."

Source: Frore Systems

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  • meacupla - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    Is it just me, or are those airjet coolers significantly wider than the 2280 SSDs?
  • lioncat55 - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    They do look a bit wider. I don't think it will cause any issues.
  • thestryker - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    M.2 spec is 22mm wide, and these are 27.5mm wide.

    That being said it really doesn't matter because the airjet is designed to interface with a heatsonk/heatpipe solution which is what that copper in the one picture is.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    yeah, I was wondering about when these airjets arrive as aftermarket or preinstalled for the consumer market.
    Desktops are unlikely to have any issues with the width, but laptops might.
  • lioncat55 - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    I read this as 32GB and 64GB SSDs and was really confused.

    Cool to see Frore getting more of their coolers installed.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    These "fans" are pretty interesting/impressive tech so it's nice to see them find their way into products. On the flip side, conventional fans may have worked as effectively in this particular use case given the apparent physical dimensions of the casing.
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    If Frore is correct about subsequent generations showing improvements from node scaling, it could get amazing.

    There will be cost concerns, but there's always enterprise and slim/SFF products that could use this even if it's 5-10x more than a conventional fan.
  • aparangement - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    I'm wondering how this case is connected to the motherboard.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - link

    there is a U.2 connector (SATA express, but with PCIe signaling) in the back
  • edzieba - Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - link

    SATA Express WAS PCIe signalling, that was the entire point.

    U.2 is x4 rather than x2, and terminates in SFF-8613 at the host end rather than a weird two-SATA-connectors-and-another-little-one kludge. Both share the same physical re-keyed SAS connector at the drive end, but that's it, the connectors are not electrically compatible due to pin reassignments for the extra 2 lanes.

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