IBM researchers to design liquid cooling directly into microchip designs and packaging

ARLINGTON, Va., 8 April 2013. Microelectronics experts at IBM Corp. in Armonk, N.Y., are taking the first steps in a U.S. military research program in electronics thermal management that seeks to design convective or evaporative microfluidic cooling directly into microchip designs and packaging.

IBM won a $5 million contract last Thursday from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., for the Intrachip/Interchip Enhanced Cooling (ICECool) Fundamentals program, which is the first step in the DARPA ICECool program, and will develop the fundamental building blocks of intra- and interchip evaporative microfluidic cooling.

IBM microelectronics thermal management experts will explore revolutionary new thermal-management technologies for military electronics to help designers make substantial reductions in size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP).

DARPA scientists are asking IBM to find ways to shrink chip-cooling technologies such that they can build cooling into the chip itself. The goal is to close the gap between chip and chip-cooling technologies for military electronics like computers, RF transceivers, and solid-state lasers.

IBM leads the first of what eventually may involve several industry teams working on different substrates and on different thermal-management approaches. Resulting technologies are expected to feed into future efforts within the ICECool thermal management program.

While IBM researchers are handling the first phase of the DARPA ICECool program, which is to develop fundamental technological building blocks for on-chip built-in liquid cooling, DARPA released a formal solicitation last February for the next phase ICECool program phase.

The February solicitation involves the ICECool Applications program, which seeks to demonstrate advanced electronics cooling techniques for high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) and RF monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers with convective or evaporative microfluidic cooling built directly into the electronic devices and packaging.

The first ICECool Fundamentals solicitation went out to industry in June 2012, and IBM is the first company involved in this phase. No contracts for the next phase, ICECool Applications, have been awarded yet.

In the first phase of the DARPA ICECool program IBM researchers will try to alleviate cooling limitations of advanced military electronics by integrating thermal management techniques into the chip layout, substrate structure, and package design, not only to shrink on-chip cooling, but also to enhance overall electronics performance.

Essentially, IBM experts are seeking to make cooling just as important as any other aspect of chip design, and use embedded thermal management to enhance the performance of military electronics. Integrating chips with convective or evaporative microfluidic cooling, DARPA officials say, has the potential to speed the evolution of advanced chip integration, DARPA officials say.

Specifically, IBM researchers will try to demonstrate chip-level heat removal in excess of 1 kilowatt per square centimeter heat flux, as well as 1 kilowatt per cubic centimeter heat density with thermal control of local submillimeter hot spots with heat flux exceeding 5 kilowatts per square centimeter.

IBM will develop microfabrication techniques over two or three years to implement thermal interconnects and evaporative microfluidics in several microchanneled semiconductor chips. DARPA also may as IBM to model intrachip cooling with evaporative flows in microchannel flow loops -- either within the chips themselves, or in the microgaps between chips in 3D chip stacks.

One fundamental problem that the ICECool program seeks to solve is the large size and weight of cooling subsystems. Ever-smaller chip geometries generate increasing amounts of heat, and the ability to cool electronics is moving more slowly than the ability to shrink chip densities.

This causes some advanced electronics to perform well below the inherent electrical limits of the device technology. Integrating cooling directly into the chip could transform electronic systems architectures and overcome the SWaP bottleneck in advanced electronics, DARPA officials say.

The ICECool program will complement other DARPA thermal-management initiatives, such as the Thermal Ground Plane (TGP) program to develop modern high-performance heat spreaders to replace the copper alloy spreaders in conventional systems; the Microtechnologies for Air Cooled Exchangers (MACE) program to develop enhanced heatsinks that reduce the thermal resistance and power requirements for cooling fans; and the Active Cooling Module (ACM) program to develop miniature, active, high-efficiency refrigeration systems based on thermoelectric or vapor-compression technologies.

For more information contact the DARPA Microelectronics Technology Office (MTO) online at www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/MTO, or IBM at www.ibm.com.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

PC/104 SBC and Peripherals

Kontron PC/104 Standalone Single Board Computers (SBCs) serve in every format, even with consiste...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card that combine...

PCIe-FC4

Dual-Port Simulator/Analyzer Test & Simulation PCI Express Module Supports Point-to-Point, Switch...

fcXplorer GUI Analyzer Software

fcXplorer, AIT's Fibre Channel Simulator and Analyzer Test Software provides an intuitive Graphic...

1553 databus coupler

One through ten stubs in box enclosures. All types of 1553 connectors applied. Tested to high env...

PW-82530N0 3-Phase BLDC Motor Torque Controller

The PW-82530N0 is a high performance, low-cost torque loop controller designed to precisely regul...

Resistor Modules

We offer the largest range of resistor modules available on the market in the PXI form factor - I...

Reticles

Max Levy Autograph manufactures Reticles from Optical Quality Flat Glass (3-4 waves maximum). The...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Kontron

Driving the world’s embedded computing platforms Kontron is a global leader in embedded computing technology.&n...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) is a long establish...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Thermacore Inc

Specializes in the custom design, development, and manufacturing of highly engineered thermal management solutions fo...

Intersil Corp

Intersil is leveraging a deep portfolio of intellectual property, a history of design and process innovation and a sy...

HGH Infrared Systems

Offers a 360 degree, real-time, panoramic IR thermal imaging camera, the IR Revolution 360 exceptional image quality,...

Teledyne Relays US

Provides switching solutions with design, development, manufacturing, and test facilities. The lines of ultra miniatu...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE