The SEMI-THERM 39 Symposium was held March 13-16, 2023 at the Double Tree Hotel in San Jose, CA. Program organization was led by General Chair Marcelo del Valle (Infinera Corporation), Program Chair Alex Ockfen (Meta), and Program Vice Chair Lieven Vervecken (Diabatix). The Symposium included technical short courses, technical sessions, invited presentations, vendor exhibits and workshops, a ‘how-to’ session, a panel discussion, luncheon talks, and an industry tour.
Five short courses were held on Monday, March 13. These courses were selected to provide learning opportunities for individuals ranging from those who are new to thermal design to those who are highly experienced. These courses were offered:
- “Fundamentals of CFD for Heat Transfer Analysis: Governing Equations, Numerical Methods, and Applications”, taught by Ine Vandebeek and Lieven Vervecken of Diabatix.
- “Understanding, Applying and Estimating the Performance of Advanced Two-phase Heat Pipe Systems”, taught by Olivier de Laet and Vincent Dupont of Calyos SA.
- “Addressing Chip Component Thermal and Reliability Challenges for Qualification of Liquid-Cooled Compute System for Autonomous Driving”, taught by Fen Chen of Cruise LLS.
- “Direct to Chip Liquid Cooling: Single Phase Water Versus Pumped Two-Phase Refrigerant Cooling”, taught by Prof. Alfonso Ortega of Villanova University.
- “Transient Thermal Analysis Using Linear Superposition”, taught by Roger Stout (retired from ON Semiconductor).
The technical conference was held Tuesday, March 14 – Thursday, March 16. Fourty two presentations were included in the nine technical tracks comprised of twelve different sessions:
- Comfort and Compliance
- Two Phase Cooling (two sessions)
- Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
- Emerging Technologies
- Immersion Cooling
- Testing & Measurement Methods (two sessions)
- Thermal Interface Materials (two sessions)
- Data Centers
- Numerical Modeling Methods
- Immersion Cooling
The technical program also included three invited presentations by recognized industry leaders:
- Ashish Guptao, of Intel, made the Keynote presentation on “Sustainable Solutions: Liquid Cooling in Data Centers”, which discussed the environmental benefits and latest innovations of implementing more liquid cooling into data centers.
- Veerendra Mulay, of Meta, was recognized for winning the SEMI-THERM 39 Thermi Award. His presentation “This journal is 1% finished” gave his perspective on his engineering journey (so far).
- Alfonso Ortega, of Villanova University, was recognized for winning the SEMI-THERM 39 Hall of Fame Award. His presentation “Thermal Management of Electronic Systems 1970-2023: An Academic Perspective” discussed the evolution of electronics cooling as it transitioned from liquid cooling to air cooling and now back to liquid cooling with two-phase flow.
The Best Paper Award was given to “Performance Comparison of Five Data Center Server Thermal Management Technologies” by Tim Shedd and Emily Clark of Dell Technologies. An adaptation of this paper is featured in the Summer 2023 Issue of Electronics Cooling Magazine.
Other technical papers recognized included:
- “Experimental Performance of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide within Cold Plates made with Additive Manufacturing Techniques” by Wyatt Stottlemyre, Alec Nordlund, Joshua Gess (Oregon State University), Bharath Ramakrishnan, Ruslan Nagimov, Husam Alissa (Microsoft) – 2nd place.
- “Thermal Conductivity is NOT the Only Deciding Factor: A Guide to Understanding Unaddressed Challenges with Liquid Metals TIMs”, by Claire K. Wemp and John N. Hodul (DuPont Silicon Valley Technology Center) – Honorable mention.
- “Reduced-Order Modeling for Thermal Dose Forecasting in Wearable Devices”, by Harry A. J. Watson, May Yen and Francesco Colella (Exponent, Inc.) – Honorable mention.
- “Fractional Thermal Runaway Calorimetry”, by May Yen, Artyom Kossolapov, Sergio Mendoza, and Francesco Colella (Exponent, Inc.) – Honorable mention
A critical aspect of the SEMI-THERM Symposium is the strong role that vendors play. Thirty nine companies participated in the two-day Vendor Exhibits, which included industry leaders in thermal devices such as heat sinks, thermal interface materials, heat pipes and vapor chambers, fluid connectors, air-movers, systems, and advanced materials. Other exhibitors featured tools for thermal simulation and testing, thermal consulting, a university consortium and, of course, Electronics Cooling Magazine. In addition to the booths in the exhibit hall, a number of vendors also gave Vendor Workshops in which they provided detailed information on their products in a more formal presentation format.
Other SEMI-THERM 39 activities included:
- The DuPont Silicon Valley Technology Center (SVTC) hosted a facility tour for SEMI-THERM attendees. This tour included visiting 10 applied engineering labs and the innovation center to meet with SVTC engineers to discuss thermal management and RF technologies.
- Herman Chu (Celestica) gave a ‘How-To’ presentation entitled “A Look at Acoustic Fundamentals and Designs as Applied to Air-Cooled Electronics” that provided an overview of important factors to consider in addressing the acoustic effects of cooling fans.
- In the panel discussion “Career Trajectories in Thermal Design” invited speakers provided their thoughts and recommendations to individuals who are early in their careers in the industry. The panel was moderated by Taravat Khadivi (Meta) and included Ross Wilcoxon (Collins Aerospace), Yueming Li (Meta), Lieven Vervecken (Diabatix) and Nicole Okamoto (San Jose State University) as panelists.
- Invited speakers gave informational and entertaining luncheon presentations on the first two days of the Symposium. On Tuesday March 14, Katrien Herdewyn, founder of Elegnano, described how her company applies nanotechnology to shoes in her presentation entitled “High Tech in High Heels”. On Wednesday March 15, Jousef Murad, founder of APEX, described how he uses social media in his role as an engineering influencer.
- The Harvey Rosten Award, which is sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software, is presented at SEMI-THERM. This year’s winner was “Analysis of the Thermal Behavior of Li-Ion Pouch Battery Cell – Part II: Circuit-based Modeling for Fast and Accurate Thermo-Electrochemical Simulation”, by Antonio Pio Catalano. Ciro Scognamillo, Francesco Piccirillo, Pierluigi Guerriero, Vincenzo d’Alessandro and Lorenzo Codecasa. The paper was presented at the 2022 28th International Work- shop on Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems (THERMINIC)
The first SEMI-THERM was first held Phoenix, AZ in 1984 with a goal of fostering networking opportunities for industry and academic professionals in semiconductor thermal management. Ultimately, the SEMI-THERM Educational Foundation (STEF) was established in 2013 as a Non-Profit Educational Foundation. STEF is dedicated to worldwide educational opportunities and resources within the electronics thermal engineering community, with a goal of providing programs for on-going professional development, technical networking, and engagement of academia and industry in pursuit of innovation and excellence.
More information on SEMI-THERM is available on https://semi-therm.org/. SEMI-THERM 40 will be held in San Jose, CA, March 25-29, 2024.