IBM Technology Keeps Future Chips Cool Page: 1

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According to an online source researchers from IBM's Zurich labs have made significant progress in technologies to cool semiconductor chips. The scientists were inspired by the ways nature disperses liquids in tree leaves or even the human body.

With power densities of up to 100 watts per square centimeter, today's computer chips develop up to ten times more heat compared to a standard hotplate. Thus, cooling the silicon circuits becomes increasingly important. And, according to the IBM researchers, future chips may attain even higher power densities which could create surface temperatures of up to 6000 degrees Celsius if not cooled.

The researchers developed a chip cap with a network of tree-like branched channels on its surface. The pattern is designed such that when pressure is applied, the paste used to improve thermal contact between chip package and heat sink spreads more evenly and the pressure remains uniform across the chip, compared to today's solutions. This allows the right uniformity to be obtained at half the pressure, and a ten times better heat transport through the interface, IBM says.

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