The increased density of components in today’s electronics has pushed heat generation and power dissipation to unprecedented levels. Current thermal management solutions, usually involving remote cooling, where heat must be conducted away from components before rejection to the air, are unable to limit the temperature rise of today’s complex electronic components without adding 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.
DARPA’s Intrachip/Interchip Enhanced Cooling (ICECool) program seeks to overcome the limitations of remote cooling. ICECool will explore ‘embedded’ thermal management by bringing microfluidic cooling inside the substrate, chip or package and by including thermal management in the earliest stages of electronics design. Success with ICEcool may help close the gap between chip-level heat generation density and system-level heat removal density in high-performance electronic systems, such as computers, RF electronics and solid-state lasers.
The ICECool Fundamentals solicitation was released in June, 2012 with a proposal due date of August 30, 2012. Proposals are sought for intrachip/interchip thermal management solutions that use the flow of dielectric liquids through microchannels, micropores and inter-chip microgaps, as well as heat transfer through on-chip thermal interconnects, to meet the thermal management needs of high-performance chips and chip stacks.
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