Thermoelectric Active Cooling Hot Spots in Chips


A technical paper titled “Thermoelectric active cooling for transient hot spots in microprocessors” was published by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.


“Modern microprocessor performance is limited by local hot spots induced at high frequency by busy integrated circuit elements such as the clock generator. Locally embedded thermoelectric devices (TEDs) are proposed to perform active cooling whereby thermoelectric effects enhance passive cooling by the Fourier law in removing heat from the hot spot to colder regions. To mitigate transient heating events and improve temperature stability, we propose a novel analytical solution that describes the temperature response of a periodically heated hot spot that is actively cooled by a TED driven electrically at the same frequency. The analytical solution that we present is validated by experimental data from frequency domain thermal reflectance (FDTR) measurements made directly on an actively cooled Si thermoelectric device where the pump laser replicates the transient hot spot. We herein demonstrate a practical method to actively cancel the transient temperature variations on circuit elements with TEDs. This result opens a new path to optimize the design of cooling systems for transient localized hot spots in integrated circuits.”

Find the technical paper here. Published May 2024.

Liu, Y., Cheng, HY., Malen, J.A. et al. Thermoelectric active cooling for transient hot spots in microprocessors. Nat Commun 15, 4275 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-48583-9

Related Reading
New Approaches Needed For Power Management
Limited power budgets, thermal issues, and increased demand to process more data faster are driving some novel solutions.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)