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Inkjet Assisted Micro-Scale Cooling of Electronics

R.K. Sharma, C.E. Bash and C.D. Patel
Hewlett Packard Co. Laboratories, US

Keywords:
thermal inkjet, electronics cooling, microscale heat transfer

Abstract:
Rise in the overall power dissipation of computer systems has posed a severe challenge for cooling microprocessors. Increases in microprocessor power dissipation and the resulting effect on the cost and complexity of thermal management solutions has been well documented in recent years. Accompanying this increase in overall power dissipation has been a reduction in feature size due to process improvements resulting in a steady decrease in the size of the processing core where most of the power on a die is generated. This trend is expected to continue into the near future and will likely lead to a power dense core covering a fraction of the total die surface area surrounded by areas of reduced power density cache. Increases in microprocessor power density along with an accompanying spatial variation in power density pose a severe challenge for the provisioning of cooling resources at the microprocessor level. In this paper, we demonstrate how thermal inkjet technology can be effectively utilized to spray cool a heat source with non-uniform power density. The precise supply of coolant onto the surface of a microprocessor by use of an inkjet head has the potential to address this problem in a chip-scale form factor. By providing coolant when and where it is needed on the surface of a chip or package, very high critical heat fluxes can be obtained in an energy efficient manner in a minimum of physical space.

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