skip to main content

Title: Experimental Characterization of Cold Plates used in Cooling Multi Chip Server Modules (MCM)
Miniaturization of microelectronic components comes at a price of high heat flux density. By adopting liquid cooling, the rising demand of high heat flux devices can be met while the reliability of the microelectronic devices can also be improved to a greater extent. Liquid cooled cold plates are largely replacing air based heat sinks for electronics in data center applications, thanks to its large heat carrying capacity. A bench level study was carried out to characterize the thermohydraulic performance of two microchannel cold plates which uses warm DI water for cooling Multi Chip Server Modules (MCM). A laboratory built mock package housing mock dies and a heat spreader was employed while assessing the thermal performance of two different cold plate designs at varying coolant flow rate and temperature. The case temperature measured at the heat spreader for varying flow rates and input power were essential in identifying the convective resistance. The flow performance was evaluated by measuring the pressure drop across cold plate module at varying flow rates. Cold plate with the enhanced microchannel design yielded better results compared to a traditional parallel microchannel design. The study conducted at higher coolant temperatures yielded lower pressure drop values with no apparent more » change in the thermal behavior using different cold plates. The tests conducted after reversing the flow direction in microchannels provide an insight at the effect of neighboring dies on each other and reveal the importance of package specific cold plate designs for top performance. The experimental results were validated using a numerical model which are further optimized for improved geometric designs. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1738793
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10058150
Journal Name:
18th Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, San Diego,
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Miniaturization and high heat flux of power electronic devices have posed a colossal challenge for adequate thermal management. Conventional air-cooling solutions are inadequate for high-performance electronics. Liquid cooling is an alternative solution thanks to the higher specific heat and latent heat associated with the coolants. Liquid-cooled cold plates are typically manufactured by different approaches such as: skived, forged, extrusion, electrical discharge machining. When researchers are facing challenges at creating complex geometries in small spaces, 3D-printing can be a solution. In this paper, a 3D-printed cold plate was designed and characterized with water coolant. The printed metal fin structures were strongmore »enough to undergo pressure from the fluid flow even at high flow rates and small fin structures. A copper block with top surface area of 1 inch by 1 inch was used to mimic a computer chip. Experimental data has good match with a simulation model which was built using commercial software 6SigmaET. Effects of geometry parameters and operating parameters were investigated. Fin diameter was varied from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm and fin height was maintained at 2 mm. A special manifold was designed to maximize the surface contact area between coolant and metal surface and therefore minimize thermal resistance. The flow rate was varied from 0.75 L/min to 2 L/min and coolant inlet temperature was varied from 25 to 48 oC. It was observed that for the coolant inlet temperature 25 oC and aluminum cold plate, the junction temperature was kept below 63.2 oC at input power 350 W and pressure drop did not exceed 23 Kpa. Effects of metal materials used in 3D-printing on the thermal performance of the cold plate were also studied in detail.« less
  2. Abstract

    Impingement split flow liquid-cooled microchannel cold plates are one of several flow configurations used for single-phase liquid cooling. Split flow or top-in/side-exit (TISE) cold plates divide the flow into two branches thus resulting in halved or reduced flow rates and flow lengths, compared to traditional side-in /side-exit (SISE) or parallel flow cold plates. This has the effect of reducing the pressure drop because of the shorter flow length and lower flow rate and increasing the heat transfer coefficient due to thermally developing as opposed to fully developed flow. It is also claimed that the impinging flow increases the heatmore »transfer coefficient on the base plate in the region of impingement. Because of the downward impinging and turning flow, there are no exact analytical models for this flow configuration. Computational and experimental studies have been performed, but there are no useful compact analytical models in the literature that can be used to predict the performance of these impingement cold plates. Results are presented for novel physics-based laminar flow models for a TISE microchannel cold plate based on an equivalent parallel channel flow approach. We show that the new models accurately predict the thermal-hydraulic performance over a wide range of parameters.

    « less
  3. Recent commercial efforts have reestablished the benefits of cooling server modules using direct liquid cooling (DLC) technology. The primary drivers behind this technology are the increase in chip densities and the absolute need to reduce the overall data center power usage. In DLC technology, a cold plate is situated on top of the chip with thermal interface material between the chip and the cold plate. The low thermal resistance path facilitates the use of warm water which helps data centers in replacing the chilled water system by a water side economizer utilizing ambient temperature. This work describes the effort tomore »leverage DLC by employing microchannel cold plates to cool multi-chip modules. The primary objective of this work is to build a sophisticated test rig to characterize the flow and thermal performance of a microchannel cold plate for cooling a two-die chip. This study highlights the challenges of building an experimental setup which simulates a two-die chip package and the approaches taken to overcome the challenges. A parallel channel cold plate is used to benchmark the performance. Tests were conducted for a set of independent variables like flow rate, input power to dice, coolant temperature, flow direction and TIM resistance. The results are presented as PQ curves, specific thermal resistance curves and case temperature distribution reflecting the effect of changing the input variables.« less
  4. Abstract Transistor density trends till recently have been following Moore's law, doubling every generation resulting in increased power density. The computational performance gains with the breakdown of Moore's law were achieved by using multicore processors, leading to nonuniform power distribution and localized high temperatures making thermal management even more challenging. Cold plate-based liquid cooling has proven to be one of the most efficient technologies in overcoming these thermal management issues. Traditional liquid-cooled data center deployments provide a constant flow rate to servers irrespective of the workload, leading to excessive consumption of coolant pumping power. Therefore, a further enhancement in themore »efficiency of implementation of liquid cooling in data centers is possible. The present investigation proposes the implementation of dynamic cooling using an active flow control device to regulate the coolant flow rates at the server level. This device can aid in pumping power savings by controlling the flow rates based on server utilization. The flow control device design contains a V-cut ball valve connected to a microservo motor used for varying the device valve angle. The valve position was varied to change the flow rate through the valve by servomotor actuation based on predecided rotational angles. The device operation was characterized by quantifying the flow rates and pressure drop across the device by changing the valve position using both computational fluid dynamics and experiments. The proposed flow control device was able to vary the flow rate between 0.09 lpm and 4 lpm at different valve positions.« less
  5. In electronics cooling, water is increasingly replacing air for applications requiring high heat flux. Water is the ideal substitute due to its high specific heat capacity and density. Indeed, high values of heat capacity (high density and specific heat capacity) enable water to receive, store and carry higher amounts of energy compared to air. Water's incompressibility and very low specific volume also requires smaller amounts of mechanical work for fluid circulation. Using warm water instead of chilled water makes the cooling process more economical, but requires more efficiently designed cold-plates. Our current work focuses on modeling and optimization of amore »V-groove mini-channel cold-plate using warm water as the coolant. Our results show that the performance of an impinging channel heat sink is significantly different compared to parallel channel designs. Dividing the flow into two branches cuts the fluid velocity and flow path in half for the impinging design. This reduction in the fluid velocity and flow length affects the developing thermal boundary layer and is an important consideration for a shorter length heat exchanger (where the channel length is comparable to the thermal entrance length). Distributing the coolant uniformly to every channel is a challenge for impinging cold-plates where there are strict limitations on size.« less