Browse Prior Art Database

System Temperature Monitoring Using On-Chip Thermocouples

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105168D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Buller, ML: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a technique which allows various parts or pieces of a computer system to be monitored using standard material processing and coupling. The technique is based on the use of thermocouples diffused (or plated) into the chip (or card) circuit. The sensing is accom- plished by basic thermocouple performance in which the EMF potential created by the interaction of two dissimilar metals is monitored.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

System Temperature Monitoring Using On-Chip Thermocouples

      Disclosed is a technique which allows various parts or pieces
of a computer system to be monitored using standard material
processing and coupling.  The technique is based on the use of
thermocouples diffused (or plated) into the chip (or card) circuit.
The sensing is accom- plished by basic thermocouple performance in
which the EMF potential created by the interaction of two dissimilar
metals is monitored.

      The basis for this disclosure is the ability to manufacture
in-situ thermocouples on individual chips.  This is known from the
literature, which indicate that cop-per/nickel in combination will
produce an adequate thermocouple.  Since a thermocouple is
essentially two dissimilar metals in intimate contact, connected in a
circuit where the other end of the circuit is at some reference
temperature, it would be possible to produce a thermocouple in the
chip metallurgy using any two metals currently used in the chip
process.  Thus, it is known from the literature that it is possible
to produce thermocouples imbedded in the metallurgy of a chip.

      Given that the temperature at individual units can be measured
relative to some reference point using on-chip thermocouples, the
actual temperatures of each unit at the chip level, relative to some
desired reference point, can be found using one calibrated on-chip
diode or other reference device.  Thus, with a simple electrical
circuit, a single small chip can be devised which monitors the total
thermal interaction of the system.  This chip can be placed in a
central part of the system with interconnection to the various
thermocouples that are diffused into the hotter, or more temperature
sensitive, portions of the computer.  Alternatively, this function
could be placed on the various chips themselves, with communication
to a central point via the normal system bus.  In this manner, the
central cooling chip monitors the thermal interaction of the cooling
system and alerts the user/customer of potential or current thermal
problems.

      There are several uses for this technique.  One application
would be to monitor the temperature at each major unit in a system in
order to detect potential thermal problems.  These problems could
manifest as high temperature component failures due to electric
circuit and/or power supply failures, cooling fan motor fails or
excessively high ambient temperature conditions due to
building/office air conditioning failures.  All of these instances
reflect increased operating temperatures which  red...