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Heatsink grounding spring Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124571D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 273K

Publishing Venue



The article discusses a method for grounding a heatsink in a computer system. This was used successfully on the Blue Gene/L* program to divert the common mode currents from displacement to returning them to the source. Since a large logic grounded area of connectors were available, that area was connected by use of a novel spring grounding device that made a reliable connection to the ASIC heatsink. The design is very simple but performs the required grounding force.

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Heatsink grounding spring

Grounding of the processor heatsink on the Blue Gene/L* Compute card. Current grounding spring designs would not fit in the space allowed.

     A thin formed sheetmetal part is arranged so as to slip over and lock onto the end cooling fin of the heatsink. The opposite edge of the sheetmetal part is formed so as to touch and make electrical contact with the ground connection of a nearby row of high density signal connectors. Space constraints would not allow the common perimeter grounding approach employed on previous generations of processor heatsinks.

     A thin stainless steel sheetmetal part incorporates a narrow closed slot to engage the full length of the last fin of the heatsink. This accurately locates the part on heatsink. A sharp bend along this length allows the part to fit into the space between the heatsink and the back side of the connector segments. Open slotted tabs along this same length complete the electrical contact between the heatsink and the ground plane of the connector segments located on the heatsink side of the segments (see the figure).


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* Trademark of IBM Corporation


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