Thermal management of three-dimensional integrated circuits using inter-layer liquid cooling
King, Calvin R., Jr.
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Heat removal technologies are among the most critical needs for three-dimensional (3D) stacking of high-performance microprocessors. This research reports a 3D integration platform that can support the heat removal requirements for 3D integrated circuits that contain high-performance microprocessors in the 3D stack. This work shows the use of wafer-level batch fabrication to develop advanced electrical and fluidic three-dimensional interconnect networks in a 3D stack. Fabrication results are shown for the integration of microchannels and electrical through-silicon vias (TSVs). A compact physical model is developed to determine the design trade-offs for microchannel heat sink and electrical TSV integration. An experimental thermal measurement test-bed for evaluating a 3D inter-layer liquid cooling platform is developed. Experimental thermal testing results for an air-cooled chip and a liquid-cooled chip are compared. Microchannel heat sink cooling shows a significant junction temperature and heat sink thermal resistance reduction compared to air-cooling. The on-chip integrated microchannel heat sink, which has a thermal resistance of 0.229 °C/W, enables cooling of >100W/cm² of each high-power density chip, while maintaining an average junction temperature of less than 50°C. Cooling liquid is circulated through the 3D stack (two layers) at flow rates of up to 100 ml/min. The ability to assemble chips with integrated electrical and fluidic I/Os and seal fluidic interconnections at each strata interface is demonstrated using three assembly and fluidic sealing techniques. Assembly results show the stacking of up to four chips that contain integrated electrical and fluidic I/O interconnects, with an electrical I/O density of ~1600/cm².