Miniature Thermoelectric Coolers for On-Chip Hot Spots
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Following Moore's Law, semiconductor transistor density has doubled roughly every 18 months to alleviate increasing IC performance demands. Growing microprocessor complexity and performance, coupled with the functional integration of logic and memory components in chip architecture, have led to highly non-uniform on-chip power distribution. The resulting localized high heat flux "hot spots" are becoming a major difficulty due to their propensity for degrading microprocessor performance and for significantly reducing chip reliability. Most conventional cooling techniques provide uniform cooling to the device and do not focus much attention on the hot spots themselves. Therefore, other innovative and novel thermal management techniques must be explored to aggressively and selectively combat the deleterious effects of on-chip hot spots. This thesis explores two previously proposed thermal management techniques utilizing thermoelectrics to cool on-chip hot spots: the silicon microcooler with an integrated SiGe superlattice layer and the mini-contact enhanced conventional thermoelectric cooler (TEC).