TSMC Working on On-Chip Liquid Cooling Technique

As you know, various chips are used in the electronic devices we use in our daily life and we frequently encounter heating problems. TSMC, one of the most advanced semiconductor companies, announced at the VLSI symposium that it is doing some research to combat the problems related to heat dissipation.

The Taiwanese company is working on a liquid-on-chip cooling technique against overheating problems. The aim is to integrate the water channels directly into the main design of the chip.

Transistors are starting to get heavier with the advancing manufacturing technologies and vertical 3D technologies being developed. This makes temperature issues more critical. While TSMC’s researchers strive to keep fluid circulating mid-circuits, it’s pretty risky.

As is known, there is a heat spreader on the chips as standard. Existing cooling assays make direct contact with this layer. The semiconductor giant conducted some tests under controlled laboratory conditions. An invalid semiconductor (Thermal Test Tool) made of copper was used here.

The company also tested three types of water cooling designs. The first of these was a direct liquid cooled assay with its own circulating channels. As for the latter, a thermal interface device (Silicon Oxide Fusion) was used to carry heat from the chip to the water cooling layer. Lastly, the OX layer was replaced for an easier, cheaper liquid metal assay.

TSMC says the best solution is the direct liquid cooling method, which can dissipate heat up to 2.6 kW and offers a temperature delta of 63C. The second was the (Silicon Oxide Fusion) based assay that radiates up to 2.3 kW of heat and offers a temperature delta of 83C.

Of course, these studies will take years to produce results. However, if the efforts of TSMC engineers yield results, it will be an extremely difficult engineering success.

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