Tech Briefs

One glance under the hood of a modern automobile is all it takes to realize that free space in the engine compartment is a thing of the past.

Future Directions

Figure 6. Manifold to feed fluid to multiple multi-pass cooling cells.
Dede noted that the cold plate concept could be applied to multi-chip packages or even could be used in a multi-pass configuration for a singlechip package for higher-performance cooling (Figure 5).

Along these lines, Dede performed other numerical topology optimization simulations to study the fluid flow of a cold plate inlet manifold comprising a single fluid inlet and six outlets. This manifold could feed fluid to multiple multi-pass cooling cells. In Figure 6, the fluid streamlines are colored with velocity magnitude.

The curvy sidewall manifold shape was generated through COMSOL fluidflow topology optimization studies, where the goal was to minimize the pressure drop across the manifold while balancing the flow rate to each outlet nozzle. The flow rates across all nozzles are within 7 percent of each other and the pressure drop is about 2 kPa, meaning that the different local sections of the cold plate would receive the same coolant flow. This results in the device temperature distribution across the cold plate being evenly balanced.

“The work we’ve done here is really just the first iteration of this solution,” Dede said. “In the future, we will also look at such things as manifold design to decrease the pumping penalty further. Also, we may be able to optimize the topology of each individual cooling cell so that it works optimally in a 3D configuration.”

And what about even farther down the road? “We can apply these methods to other things, like electromagnetics and thermal stresses, as well. We believe this project is just the beginning for numerical- simulation-based topology optimization,” he said.

This article was written by Gary Dagastine for COMSOL. For more information, see the paper “Experimental Investigation of the Thermal Perfor mance of a Manifold Hierarchical Microchannel Cold Plate,” by Toyota’s Ercan M. Dede in the InterPack 2011 Conference Proceedings (the ASME 2011 Pacific Rim Technical Conference & Exposition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Systems).

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