The 35th Semiconductor Thermal Management conference starts in a week and is being held in Silicon Valley, CA. Electronics Cooling is one of the media sponsors and will have an exhibit booth –stop by to say hello, pick up some literature and chat with us to learn more about what is “hot” in the electronics industry and how it is so “cool” to work on thermal management! SEMI-THERM 35 continues its rich tradition of presenting excellent technical content, short courses and a wide array of exhibits by vendors that complete the ecosystem of thermal solutions needed by the electronics hardware design engineers.
And a disclaimer on the article title which is deliberate by design! We at Electronics Cooling believe the whole conference is worth attending and the list below is just a partial highlight of the sessions at this conference. And it has some personal bias of the author.
The conference runs from March 18 to 22, although the conference technical sessions are being held only on 19 March through 21 March. Monday is dedicated to a whole day of short courses followed by the opening reception. This year, the short courses to be presented are:
- Statistical Analysis Methods for Dealing with Uncertainty in Thermal Testing
- Design and Optimization of Heat Sinks
- A Holistic Approach to Improve Mission Critical Facility Performance
- Thermal Challenges in Automotive Electronics
- Design and Implementation of Indirect Liquid Cooling
- Design of Experiments for Thermal Engineering
Of the above, the course on Design of Experiments (DoE) for Thermal Engineering sounds intriguing, will be of good use to seasoned as well as novice hardware engineers dealing with thermal management. DoEs are used in all aspects of engineering design to manage design parameters and their influence on the cooling performance. When validated by simulation, the overall effort can be quite time-consuming and it is worthwhile to learn to manage the DoE array size from the perspective of thermal management.
The technical sessions which start from Tue 3/19 and end Thu 3/21 afternoon have been classified into nine categories:
- Two-Phase Cooling
- Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs)
- Automotive / Aerospace / Outdoor
- Measurement Techniques
- CFD / Numerical Modeling
- Two-Phase Cooling
- Consumer Electronics
- Data Center Cooling
Of the above, research and development efforts on TIMs has seen a good increase by the introduction of newer material formulations, innovations on existing ones like Carbon fibers, Graphite, and Boron Nitride, etc. This increased effort is perhaps more than the commensurate efforts in other areas of electronics cooling and is not limited to commercial applications. In fact, Electronics Cooling featured an article on the US Navy’s efforts to develop high-performance TIMs.
Polymer-based TIMs filled with thermally conductive particles for improving thermal performance are nothing new. However, one of the challenges comes from innovating and formulating a composite TIM that has the desirable attribute of maintaining thermal properties without compromising the mechanical compliance and reliability. In many such cases, thin-film delamination becomes a major concern for composite TIMs as the percentage of filler in the formulation increases. Adhesion between particles and the film is one of the major properties to study in the development of polymer-based TIMs. In addition, bond-line thickness and the Young’s modulus of the materials are also important variables to consider in the development. One of the presentations on Tuesday, Preventing Delamination Failure from Thermal Cycling of Model Thermal Interface Materials, addresses the foregoing topics in Polymer-based TIMs.
In addition to the sessions on TIMs, the conference is chockfull of excellent content in consumer electronics, data center cooling, and automotive electronics thermal management, to mention a few.
So here is my list of 10 must attend sessions at SEMI-THERM 35.
- Mechanical Cycling Reliability Testing for Thermal Interface Materials for Semiconductor Test Requirements
- Preventing Delamination Failure from Thermal Cycling of Model Thermal Interface Materials
- Heat Pumps to Upgrade Data Center Waste Heat: Integration with 2-Phase Cooling
- Luncheon Speaker: “The Future of Innovation – Fusing Art and Technology”
- Development of a 3D Printed Loop Heat Pipe
- Luncheon Speaker: Building the Future of Thermal Management with Additive Manufacturing”
- Evaluation of the Performance of Various Heat Pipe Mounting Methods with Various Thickness TIM’s and Mounting Pressures
- An Ultra-Thin Loop Heat Pipe with Long Distance Heat Transport for Cooling of Small Electronic Devices
- Exploring Heatpipe Configurations for Package on Package (PoP) Cooling
- Thermal Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation
We will have a wrap-up article after the conference. Feel free to comment below on what sessions you pick as the must-attend ones at SEMI-THERM 35.