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Integrated Thermoelectric Cooler Module Designs for Cooling of Microelectronics Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043060D
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-04

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The Prior Art Database

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Victor Chiriac Tom Lee


The use of thermoelectric coolers (TECs) and the Peltier effect in four preferred designs is proposed to enhance the heat transfer from the IC and cool the latest generation of packages. The TECs remove large amounts of heat, providing active, sub-ambient cooling of high-power microelectronics. The commercially-available TECs usage in microelectronics cooling is the solution of the future, maintaining the chip temperatures below 25 ºC ambient, enabling high operating/clock speeds. The electronic chip (IC) cooling device of the present disclosure includes attaching the cold side of the TEC device to the metalization present on the top and/or bottom sides of the substrate, while attaching the hot side of the TEC to the heat sink in a new fashion. Two of the proposed designs use the unique advantage of dissipating the heat generated in the IC (chip) laterally to the TECs, then conducting the heat from the TECs to the custom heat sink structure placed on the perimeter of the substrate/PCB. The TECs can be placed on either side of the substrate/PCB. In a third design, the TECs are sandwiched between the thermally enhanced substrate and a heat sink structure, taking advantage of the enhanced thermal path provided by the thermal via array embedded in the substrate/PCB. The fourth design takes advantage of a similar sandwich structure for a non-thermally enhanced substrate/PCB, having the TEC/custom heat sink sandwich structure placed on the top surface of the substrate, with the TECs making direct thermal contact with the metalization layer and the circuitry placed on top of the substrate. The TECs in the present embodiments are powered using separate circuitry on the PCB. Preferred designs provide novel thermal solutions of effectively cooling the ICs in a three-dimensional lateral heat spreading fashion, taking advantage of the existing substrate thermal vias and/or metalization layers, with the possibility to easily adapt/remove TECs from the system with minimum manufacturing/rework costs. The alternative options help cool the IC without heating its immediate environment, allowing uniform cooling of several mounted IC packages without the need to modify the substrate in order to add or remove the TECs.