With technological advances happening at a rapid rate, it requires new methods of manufacturing. However, despite the more sophisticated systems on the market, there are challenges that manufacturers are facing to handle the power requirements of this technology.
The Challenges of Thermal Management
With more upgrades to data-center architecture and systems, it allows these systems to cater for even more data. And although that can be helpful, the challenge presented is that the components heat up, causing them to wear out a lot quicker. This then requires the customer to find solutions in cooling down their systems to avoid wear to the product.
The main issue is that as these products get more advanced and contain more data, the pressure on these components to cool down becomes even more of a challenge. The difficulty for many manufacturers is that according to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors in what would be a dense integrated circuit should double every two years. Even though that might still be the case to an extent, the problem of keeping the circuit and its components cool is making that a hard law to abide by.
Solutions for Thermal Management Problems
For a while now, the manufacturing industry has used a few types of heat-management solutions to help keep the components cool. One option would be a metal slug to fit between the device and the heat sink. This helps provide cooling to some extent but the lack of airflow means that heat isn’t going to escape very easily.
Gap pads are another traditional solution for thermal management problems. These spongy, rubberized materials can often help and do a better job than the metal slug can in dispersing heat. Again though, there are still issues with this method. Over time, these gap pads will harden and that can often degrade the performance of the system itself. So even though it provides a solution, it’s only temporary.
Using New Thermal Technology
Some companies now though are looking to use new thermal technology in the form of semiconductors that are able to create small manufacturing parts. Submillimeter manufacturing is a combination of multiple metals that engineers need to uphold Moore’s Law. Engineers are now using micro-electrical contracts that can handle the thermal and mechanical stresses under extreme test environments.
In the case of thermal management, this process can be used to help build micro-thermal management solutions to cool circuits, and run at peak performance at all times. With that being said, it contributes to reducing heat at its source, regardless of how small that source is.
The biggest challenge for designers is to seek better ways of helping to dissipate the heat amongst these components. The right cooling applications are needed and perhaps a new technology approach like submillimeter manufacturing is the solution that’s required. What’s clear though is that as technology advances, the need for an effective solution is urgent. Otherwise, many of these systems are going to burn out a lot sooner than the designers would hope.