The increasing integration of high performance processors and dense circuits in current computing devices has produced high heat flux in localized areas (hot spots) that limits their performance and reliability. To control the hot spots on a CPU, many researchers have focused on active cooling methods such as thermoelectric coolers (TECs) to avoid thermal emergencies. This paper presents the optimized thermoelectric modules on top of the CPU combined with a conventional air-cooling device to reduce the hot spot temperature and at the same time harvest waste heat energy generated by the CPU. To control the temperature of the hot spots, 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 non-uniform 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 hot spots simultaneously. Overall, the idea of simultaneous hot spot 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)
Title of host publicationASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
StatePublished - 2014
EventASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Nov 14 2014Nov 20 2014


OtherASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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