Abstract

The increasing integration of high performance processors and dense circuits in current computing devices has produced high heat flux in localized areas (hot spots), which limits their performance and reliability. To control the hot spots on a central processing unit (CPU), many researchers have focused on active cooling methods such as thermoelectric coolers (TECs) to avoid thermal emergencies. This paper presents optimized thermoelectric modules on top of the CPU combined with a conventional air-cooling device to reduce the core temperature and at the same time harvest waste heat energy generated by the CPU. To control the temperature of the cores, we attach small-sized TECs to the CPU and use thermoelectric generators (TEGs) placed on the rest of the CPU to convert waste heat energy into electricity. This study investigates design alternatives with an analytical model considering the nonuniform temperature distribution based on two-node thermal networks. The results indicate that we are able to attain more energy from the TEGs than energy consumption for running the TECs. In other words, we can allow the harvested heat energy to be reused to power other components and reduce cores temperature simultaneously. Overall, the idea of simultaneous core cooling and waste heat harvesting using thermoelectric modules on a CPU is a promising method to control the problem of heat generation and to reduce energy consumption in a computing device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031010
JournalJournal of Electronic Packaging, Transactions of the ASME
Volume137
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

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Waste heat
Program processors
Cooling
Energy utilization
Heat generation
Temperature
Heat flux
Analytical models
Temperature distribution
Electricity
Networks (circuits)
Air
Hot Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Mechanics of Materials

Cite this

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title = "Hot Spot Cooling and Harvesting Central Processing Unit Waste Heat Using Thermoelectric Modules",
abstract = "The increasing integration of high performance processors and dense circuits in current computing devices has produced high heat flux in localized areas (hot spots), which limits their performance and reliability. To control the hot spots on a central processing unit (CPU), many researchers have focused on active cooling methods such as thermoelectric coolers (TECs) to avoid thermal emergencies. This paper presents optimized thermoelectric modules on top of the CPU combined with a conventional air-cooling device to reduce the core temperature and at the same time harvest waste heat energy generated by the CPU. To control the temperature of the cores, we attach small-sized TECs to the CPU and use thermoelectric generators (TEGs) placed on the rest of the CPU to convert waste heat energy into electricity. This study investigates design alternatives with an analytical model considering the nonuniform temperature distribution based on two-node thermal networks. The results indicate that we are able to attain more energy from the TEGs than energy consumption for running the TECs. In other words, we can allow the harvested heat energy to be reused to power other components and reduce cores temperature simultaneously. Overall, the idea of simultaneous core cooling and waste heat harvesting using thermoelectric modules on a CPU is a promising method to control the problem of heat generation and to reduce energy consumption in a computing device.",
author = "Soochan Lee and Patrick Phelan and Carole-Jean Wu",
year = "2015",
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