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Easy-Swap Fan With Integrated Cable Management Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225570D
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-18
Document File: 5 page(s) / 235K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a design for an easy-swap fan with integrated cable management that addresses hardware problems in the tower/workstation environment. In the proposed design, system fans are fixed to a hinged door(s) that rests behind the cable exit area.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Page 01 of 5

Easy-Swap Fan With Integrated Cable Management

This invention applies to the tower and workstation product segment. Increasingly, Small to Medium Business (SMB) clients (particularly global SMB) rely on untrained or minimally trained staff to conduct routine service procedures. Design solutions that address ease of daily use and simplification of service procedures are needed to improve client experience. The invention addresses four known hardware problems in the tower/workstation environment, listed below.

1. Complexity of replacing failed hardware components. Untrained staff is timid to disassemble a workstation/tower side cover in order to access components. Once inside the system, the complex layout of system internals can complicate service tasks.

Additionally, in some countries (e.g., China) there are service guidelines that prohibit untrained staff from repairing components inside the system. This requires a small business owner to hire a third party service person to carry out routine maintenance. Solutions are needed to simplify the usability of component replacement (such as system fans, PCI cards, memory etc.)

2. Cable organization and routing. Disorganized cabling in the SMB environment is unsightly and can impede the thermal exit path and block access to serviceable components.

3. Cable bend radius damage. Depending on the installation, workstation tower users tend to push hardware into a location where the rear cable exit is pressed snugly against a wall. This can happen under a desk or in a small utility room. When cables are pressed against a surface, the minimum bend radius can be overcome, causing damage or breakage to cables.

4. Large footprint of tower servers. Workstation/tower servers continue to grow in footprint (especially in depth), making system placement in small business environments cumbersome. This creates a customer satisfaction issue.

Various existing solutions separately address problems 2 and 3.

Mechanical/thermal background:

In standard tower/workstation architecture, rear fans pull air through the front of a system and across warm components. The air then "straightens out" for a distance of about 3 inches before it is pulled through the fan itself and blown out the back of a system. The 3-inch gap between system components and system fans minimizes turbulence and insures proper air speed/cooling. The air then blows past cables that are plugged into the system rear exterior (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Typical tower system component layout, top view


Page 02 of 5

To address the four stated problems, the core idea is to present a novel modification to the standard system architecture. In the proposed design, system fans are fixed to a hinged door(s) that rests behind the cable exit area. The side walls of the door(s) are...