Industry Trends

Revolutionizing Heat Dissipation - Liquid Cooling

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散熱劃時代革命─ 液冷散熱

 

As semiconductor chips evolve towards higher performance, thinner profiles, and miniaturization, the shrinking size of electronic components has led to increasingly limited space for heat dissipation. The rise in transistor density within a smaller area results in higher thermal energy generation. Whether in smartphones or computers, the heat density has shown exponential growth.

Challenges of Efficient Cooling as Chip Performance Advances

In addition, cryptocurrency mining facilities, large-scale servers, and data centers with high-end CPUs and GPUs generate astonishing amounts of heat. If this heat is not rapidly and effectively dissipated, it can impact performance, leading to potential issues such as the "electromigration effect," causing system crashes and malfunctions.

TSMC's Proactive Approach to Future Challenges

In July of this year, TSMC showcased research results on chip water cooling at the Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Symposium, where water channels are directly guided to the chip to enhance heat dissipation efficiency. This may sound surprising, prompting the question of why such research is suddenly underway. Traditional chip cooling involves applying thermal silicone grease on the chip, transferring heat to the bottom of the heatsink, then using heat pipes and water cooling pipes to direct the heat to fins. Finally, a fan blows away the heat from the fins, completing the cooling process.

However, with the potential adoption of 3D stacking technology in future chips, the latest System-on-Integrated-Chip (SoIC) advanced packaging allows for the flexible combination of chips from various processes. This includes not only memory but also the direct encapsulation of sensors within the same chip. The density of the circuits will be a thousand times that of 2.5D, presenting a significant bottleneck for heat dissipation.

 


林唯耕教授

Author

Professor Wei-Keng Lin

Education|Ph.D., University of Maryland

Occupation|Professor, National Tsing Hua University 

Specialty|Electronic package heat dissipation, Heat pipe, Loop heat pipes(CPL,LHP,PHP), Energy-saving design, Solar heat storage and cooling, Heat flow system, Cooling of electronic components, Two-phase flow, Heat transfer elements of artificial satellite and high-altitude flying object

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