Nextreme, a North Carolina startup, announced technology that integrates tiny coolers into chip packages and targets regions that need extra cooling.
By designing a processor’s on-chip network of pillars and conducting metal layers around the idea that some pairs of copper pillars will be used for direct, active cooling, a chip architect could arrange to have problematic “hot spots”—regions where intense computational activity results in excessive heat—actively cooled. Furthermore, with the right number and distribution of thermal sensors, the cooling could be turned on and off dynamically as hot spots move around the chip.
Strap-on cooling solutions based on the Peltier effect have previously been bulky solutions for the cooling problem. However, the new devices announced by Nextreme make cooling an integrated solution within the chip package. As of now, the company has developed an OptoCooler for cooling LEDs and laser diodes.
Nextreme crafts thermoelectric module for microscopic cooling (Engadget)
Nextreme embeds thin-film optocooler into LED & laser packages (Semiconductor Today)