Browse Prior Art Database

IP5-09-03 Redirect Air Flow Using Scoops and Guides

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031487D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 225K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Computer memory subsystems are increasing in density and speed while computer enclosure sizes keep getting smaller for the same number of components, everything contributing to an increasing thermal challenge. Previously a system with multiple DIMMS hardly needed any direct cooling but recently designs have been challenged in the ability to sufficiently cool the memory subsystem. Current solutions to this problem include increasing the air flow with more fans or more expensive fans, limiting the number of DIMMS in the system. Modern chipsets help distribute this heat load among the populated DIMMS such that they all run cooler but a problem occurs when not all of the DIMMS are populated. In fact, the thermal problem at the memory level gets worse with fewer DIMMS, not better even though at the system level there is less total heat.

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IP5-09-03 Redirect Air Flow Using Scoops and Guides

    The core idea of this invention is to improve the more critical thermals on the populated DIMMS which occurs when not all of the DIMMS are populated. This invention provides scoops and guides to gather and direct additional air when fewer DIMMS are populated.

Note these drawings are not to scale.

    This shows how DIMMS are typically organized in a motherboard or memory card with eight DIMM sockets. The left view shows all DIMMS populated, the right view shows only two DIMMS populated. This arrangement is typical of systems with SDR, DDR and DDR II memory.

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    Figure 2 shows the case of two out of eight DIMMS populated with the invention. The right side view of the invention is transparent to show the guides directing airflow. This design stays within the form factor of the memory subsystem but efficiently gathers all available airflow for the eight DIMMS and directs it over the two populated DIMMS. Because this is the worst case thermally for any DIMM arrangement, it is necessary to get additional cooling over the DIMMS. The alternative would have been to over design the entire memory subsystem cooling solution or to throttle the memory and reduce performance. These parts can be made of light plastic and have mounting posts through the memory card or the motherboard. The length and width can be adjusted as the system designer allows more room.

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