Heat generation from silicon microprocessors is highly non-uniform both spatially and temporally, with localized high heat fluxes that vary with the workload. Current electronics cooling technologies based on conduction and convection can potentially cool moderately high heat fluxes by utilizing either novel passive heat transport materials (such as carbon nanotubes) or advanced heat exchangers (such as microchannels), respectively. But they cannot provide site-specific and/or on-demand localized cooling of high heat flux regions, thus resulting in over-designed, inefficient, and bulky thermal systems. In contrast, solid state (thermoelectric) refrigeration can provide rapid, localized, and on-demand active cooling, as well as increased cooling power densities.

Cooling Hot Spot IC Components on PCB - Cooling Microprocessor & Power Components using Thermoelectric CoolerChip-scale thermoelectric coolers for high-performance microelectronics can be integrated into microprocessor and electronics packages for high heat-flux thermal management for demanding computation. Thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is placed inside the chip package, where the cooler is integrated onto conventional copper heat spreaders, just like the type already used in chip packaging to disperse heat.

Usually this piece of copper is in close contact with the chip, but we have put the 0.4 mm2, only 100-m-thick cooler between the chip and the copper. When the TEC is turned on, it cools a localized “hot” (>1200 W/cm2) region on the chip by about 15°C

Microscale thermoelectric coolers can be used to cool many electronic components, such as microprocessors ICs, power supply components, infrared arrays, and to enable efficient refrigeration/thermal management systems for many electronic, optoelectronic, and power electronic applications, bio-applications, such as high-speed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) applications, and other high-performance thermal management applications.

Nextreme Thermal Solutions, the leader in microscale thermal power management products for the electronics industry, offers high heat pumping thermoelectric coolers that are designed for standard electrical power requirements. Nextreme developed a thermal charger with the ability to continuously recharge the Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) chip type batteries using thermoelectric power generator that enables thermal charging where energy scavenging from thermal sources is combined with solid-state rechargeable thin-film battery technology to provide an alternative energy source for a variety of autonomous self-powered applications.