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IBM Work to take Moore's Law to 2025

John Parry

John Parry

Posted Mar 20, 2010

It was very interesting to read this article about the work IBM are undertaking together with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) on a 3D stacked architecture for multiple cores. The four year collaborative project, called CMOSAIC, promises to deliver an interconnection density from 100 to 10,000 connections per square millimetre – 10 to 1000 times that previously possible. Wow!

One of the main challenges the team face is removing heat from the structure. Each layer in the stack is anticipated to dissipate 100-150W/cm2. With the overall structure measuring just 1-3cm3 the heat dissipation is likely to be in the region of several kW.

Consequently a novel cooling system is required. The team plans to use hair-thin 50 micron cooling channels within the structure, employing both single and two-phase cooling systems. How they fit these cooling channels in between the die when there are die-die interconnections exceeding 100 per square millimetre will be tremendous engineering design and manufacturing challenge!

Energy efficiency is at the heart of the approach, as the liquid cooling system will both require less energy to run, and provide high grade heat as a by-product, delivering coolant at around 65°C while still keeping the chip operating temperatures below 85°C. Consequently it makes liquid cooling far more financially viable for data center cooling. Today, annual cooling costs for a 1U server are approaching the cost of the server itself.

Liquid cooled applications are routinely solved with FloTHERM and FloEFD, with applications ranging from conventional cold plates to liquid cooling of bright LEDs for automotive applications.

As a footnote, Bruno Michel, Manager of Advanced Thermal Packaging at IBM Research in Zurich is a past winner of the 2008 Harvey Rosten Award for Excellence, for his work in hierarchically nested microchannels to reduce thermal interface resistances.

LEDs, LED Cooling, Liquid Cooling, CFD, Cold Plate, Automotive LEDs

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About John Parry

John ParryI started my career in the consultancy group at CHAM Ltd., using PHOENICS for a variety of CFD applications. From the consultancy group I moved into support, helping customers debug models, and figuring out how to model new applications. That broadened into delivering training courses and creating training material. I was invited to join Flomerics when it started in 1989 to head up Customer Services, and I jumped at the chance to work for a startup. After a few years supporting customers using FloTHERM I moved across into research, developing thermofluid models of common electronic parts, like fans and IC packages, later managing the DELPHI and SEED projects. More recently I worked with Flomerics’ Finance Director on the acquisition of MicReD, helping to integrate MicReD’s business into Flomerics Group which was great fun. Since Flomerics acquired Nika, I’ve been responsible for promoting the FloEFD suite in education, and moved into marketing. I now work as part of the Mechanical Analysis Division’s Corporate Marketing group, responsible for ElectronicsCooling Magazine and the division’s Higher Education Program. Expertise: I’m a chemical engineer by training and did a PhD in reactor design before getting involved with CFD more than 25 years ago. Visit John Parry’s Blog

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[...] in March I posted about IBM’s work on liquid cooling to take Moore’s Law to 2025. As a side note I observed that, one of the main benefits of liquid cooling in a data center is [...]
[...] in March I posted about IBM’s work on liquid cooling to take Moore’s Law to 2025. As a side note I observed that, one of the main benefits of liquid cooling in a data center is [...]

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