Microfluidic cooling may keep silicon chips cool and increase their performance

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Existing technology's inability to keep microchips cool is fast becoming the number one reason why Moore's Law may soon meet its demise.
    Resistance to the flow of electrons through silicon causes the heat, and packing so many transistors in such a small space creates enough heat to destroy components. One way to eliminate heat buildup is to reduce the flow of electrons by using photonics at the chip level. However, photonic technology is not without its set of problems.
    To seek out other solutions, DARPA has initiated a program called ICECool Applications (Intra/Interchip Enhanced Cooling). What is unique about this method of cooling is the push to use a combination of intra- and/or inter-chip microfluidic cooling and on-chip thermal interconnects.
    Using this technology, engineers at Lockheed Martin have experimentally demonstrated how on-chip cooling is a significant improvement. Phase I of the ICECool program verified the effectiveness of Lockheed's embedded microfluidic cooling approach by showing a four-times reduction in thermal resistance while cooling a thermal demonstration die dissipating 1 kW/cm2 die-level heat flux with multiple local 30 kW/cm2 hot spots.
    In phase II of the Lockheed Martin project, the engineers focused on RF amplifiers. Utilizing its ICECool technology, the team has been able to demonstrate greater than six times increase in RF output power from a given amplifier while still running cooler than its conventionally cooled counterpart.


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