News Column

Patent Issued for Devices Including Composite Thermal Capacitors

May 14, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Fedorov, Andrei G. (Atlanta, GA); Green, Craig (Atlanta, GA); Joshi, Yogendra (Atlanta, GA), filed on December 19, 2012, was published online on April 29, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8710625 is Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The exponential growth in the number of on chip transistors so reliably predicted by Moore's Law has proven to be a powerful driver for increases in computing performance over the past 40 years, although limitations associated with wire delay, power consumption, and heat generation have recently become significant challenges to traditional transistor scaling. The desire to maintain the historic rate of advancement in the industry, while avoiding the roadblocks associated with power consumption and wire delay have led to the consideration of several disruptive design strategies for next generation devices including many core processors and 3D vertical integration.

"Pollack's and Amdahl's scaling laws indicate that for power-constrained chip designs, architectures that implement many simple, low power cores should maximize the system's overall performance-per-W, as long as the code is massively parallelizable. To avoid limitations in computation speed due to the serial portions of the code, asymmetric core architectures can be implemented where a few higher power serial cores augment the performance of the low power cores to provide additional throughput. Architectures that vertically integrate the cores in a 3D multi-tier package allow for a number of additional design advantages, including shorter wire lengths, increased packaging density, and heterogeneous technology integration that translate into a range of potential performance benefits such as decreases in noise, capacitance, and power consumption.

"In a many-core system, the thermal profile across the chip can be leveled by actively migrating computations from hotter to cooler areas of the chip, reducing the problem of localized hotspots that have become problematic in modern architectures. While this Dynamic Core Migration (DCM) scheme can mitigate hotspots for most cores, serial cores with their potentially higher power densities, larger size, and smaller number may still experience hotspots. To compensate for the higher power densities the serial cores will either experience more throttling events during an intra-migration time slice, higher migration frequencies, or a dedicated local hotspot cooling solution would be required to handle the additional thermal overhead.

"There is a significant amount of research in the area of hotspot cooling. However these solutions add complexity to the overall system, and may become difficult to implement in a 3D stack where both inter- and intra-layer fluidic routing would be required. In DCM schemes, there is parasitic computational cost associated with each throttling event that can become significant over time when the cycling is too rapid. Furthermore, rapid thermal cycling can lead to reduced lifetime reliability for the chip. To minimize the performance losses associated with these gating and throttling events, an optimized system should be designed that can operate for longer periods without requiring an idle for cool-down, and have as short of an idle time as possible."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present disclosure include devices or systems that include a composite thermal capacitor disposed in thermal communication with a hot spot of the device, methods of dissipating thermal energy in a device or system, and the like.

"An embodiment of a device, among others, includes: an electronic device having at least one hot spot, a composite thermal capacitor disposed in thermal communication with the hot spot of the electronic device, wherein the composite thermal capacitor includes a phase change material, wherein the heat from the hot spot is stored by the phase change material."

For additional information on this patent, see: Fedorov, Andrei G.; Green, Craig; Joshi, Yogendra. Devices Including Composite Thermal Capacitors. U.S. Patent Number 8710625, filed December 19, 2012, and published online on April 29, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, Phase Change Material, Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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