Active cooling technologies can provide site-specific and on-demand cooling, promising new opportunities in cost effective cooling. More profoundly, the capability of providing tunable cooling at a fine granularity has significant implications on the thermal aware design of the entire chip. Potentially, the active cooling system, the thermal monitoring system, and the architecture-level thermal management mechanisms can operate synergistically to achieve enhanced performance under a safe operating temperature. In order to bring this vision into reality, two major hurdles, namely the technology for manufacturing on-chip active coolers and design automation of the cooling system need to be overcome. Recently, intensive research effort has been devoted to multiple candidate active cooling schemes, including integrated thermoelectric cooler (TEC), mini-scale vapor compression, and miniature capillary pump loop.
Very recently, Intel researchers have demonstrated the first viable on-chip thin film TEC manufacturing technology, which has the potential to enable a wide range of currently thermally limited applications. In spite of these promising results in the manufacturing technology, system-level design automation of active cooling system remains largely unexplored. In this talk, I will highlight some results of our ongoing work on the design and optimization of an on-chip active cooling system based on the recently developed superlattice thin-film thermoelectric coolers. The focus of this talk will be on two system-level design problems: (1) the deployment of TEC devices, i.e. determining the regions of the silicon layer that need to be covered by TEC devices; (2) determining the supply current level setting of the on-chip TEC devices.
Seda Öğrenci Memik received her BS degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey and her PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of Northwestern University. Her research interests include embedded and reconfigurable computing, thermal-aware design automation, and thermal management for microprocessor systems. She received the National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2006. Dr. Ogrenci Memik has served as technical program committee member, organizing committee member, sub-committee, and track co-chair of several conferences, including ICCAD, DATE, FPL, and GLSVLSI and she is currently serving on the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on VLSI.