In a nutshell: Noctua's thermal paste guard mounts around the IHS of AM5 CPUs to prevent thermal paste from accumulating in the small cutouts. This should make it easier to clean the processor when remounting or replacing the CPU cooler.
Noctua just unveiled its new thermal paste guard for AMD AM5 processors. The NA-TPG1 is a precisely-cut piece of polycarbonate that hugs the IHS of Team Red's latest series of desktop CPUs and thus prevents excess thermal paste from accumulating in the cutouts after a cooler is mounted.
AM5 chips have an unusual eight-legged heatspreader due to AMD putting all SMDs (surface-mount devices) on the top side of the interposer. If the company made the interposer larger to accommodate a traditional IHS design, it likely would have had to sacrifice AM4 cooler compatibility. Recent Intel Core processors also have SMDs on the backside in the central "courtyard."
As long as the thermal paste is not electrically conductive, it shouldn't be a problem if it gets between the crevices of the IHS. Therefore, Noctua's solution only has the advantage of keeping CPUs tidier, especially for users who often remount coolers such as reviewers.
Noctua's thermal paste guard will be available in three different sets in December. It won't exactly break the bank either, costing $8 when bundled with 10 cleaning wipes, $10 with a 3.5g tube of NT-H1 thermal paste, or $14 when packaged alongside the higher-performance NT-H2 paste.
The company also updated its roadmap of upcoming products. Several items have been delayed a few quarters, including the desk fan, white-colored fans, and the 8-way fan hub. Luckily, the 140mm version of the popular NF-A12x25 is still on track to launch later this year.
Early next year, Noctua should finally launch the successor to its NH-D15 flagship CPU cooler, which came out in 2014. Also coming out next year is an NH-L9A SKU with AM5 mounting hardware included in the box. The NH-L9A is the company's only cooler that requires replacing the standard AM4 backplate with a custom one, which isn't possible on AM5.