ICECool to crack thermal management barrier, enable breakthrough electronics

Jun 08, 2012

The continued miniaturization and the increased density of components in today’s electronics have pushed heat generation and power dissipation to unprecedented levels. Current thermal management solutions, usually involving remote cooling, are unable to limit the temperature rise of today’s complex electronic components. Such remote cooling solutions, where heat must be conducted away from components before rejection to the air, add considerable weight and volume to electronic systems. The result is complex military systems that continue to grow in size and weight due to the inefficiencies of existing thermal management hardware.

Recent advances of the DARPA Thermal Management Technologies (TMT) program enable a paradigm shift—better . DARPA’s Intrachip/Interchip Enhanced Cooling (ICECool) program seeks to crack the thermal management barrier and overcome the limitations of remote cooling. ICECool will explore ‘embedded’ thermal management by bringing microfluidic cooling inside the substrate, chip or package by including thermal management in the earliest stages of electronics design.

“Think of current electronics thermal management methods as the cooling system in your car,” said Avram Bar-Cohen, DARPA program manager. “Water is pumped directly through the engine block and carries the absorbed heat through hoses back to the radiator to be cooled. By analogy, ICECool seeks technologies that would put the cooling fluid directly into the electronic ‘engine’. In DARPA’s case this embedded cooling comes in the form of microchannels designed and built directly into chips, substrates and/or packages as well as research into the thermal and fluid flow characteristics of such systems at both small and large scales.”

The ICECool Fundamentals solicitation released today seeks proposals to research and demonstrate the microfabrication and evaporative cooling techniques needed to implement embedded cooling. Proposals are sought for intrachip/interchip solutions that bring microchannels, micropores, etc. into the design and fabrication of chips. Interchip solutions for chip stacks are also sought.

“Thermal management is key for advancing Defense electronics,” said Thomas Lee, director, Microsystems Technology Office. “Embedded may allow for smaller electronics, enabling a more mobile, versatile force. Reduced thermal resistance would improve performance of DoD electronics and may result in breakthrough capabilities we cannot yet envision.”

Explore further: LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Turning Arizona's dry heat into a comfy chill

Oct 14, 2011

An innovative solar-thermal heating and cooling system installed on top of the UA's Student Recreation Center is expected to harvest almost 200 million kilowatt hours of solar energy per year – enough ...

Advanced infrared capabilities enable today’s warfighter

Feb 22, 2012

By carrying a more accurate rifle scope, U.S. warfighters can increase their standoff distance when engaging enemies. Increased standoff distance can help protect warfighter lives. This is especially true when an infrared ...

Beating the backup blues

Apr 06, 2009

Thomas Brunschwiler, Urs Kloter, Ryan Linderman, Bruno Michel from the IBM's Zurich Research Lab in Switzerland and Hilton Toy from the IBM Server & Technology Group in Fishkill, New York, have been honored with the 2008 ...

Recommended for you

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

21 hours ago

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Novel robotic walker helps patients regain natural gait

Nov 21, 2014

Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson's disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients ...

Tomorrow's degradable electronics

Nov 20, 2014

When the FM frequencies are removed in Norway in 2017, all old-fashioned radios will become obsolete, leaving the biggest collection of redundant electronics ever seen – a mountain of waste weighing something ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.