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IOTA: Towards an integrated on-chip thermocouple array

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5 Author(s)
Jieyi Long ; Dept. of EECS, Northwestern Univ., Evaston, IL, USA ; Klock, A.G. ; Zhou, Chuanle ; Memik, S.O.
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We present the design concept of a bimetallic thermocouple array-based temperature sensor to monitor thermal behavior of integrated circuits. Our proposed design is able to provide fine-grain thermal characterization. Such a sensor array that is capable of monitoring a large area accurately at a fine granularity is essential to perform reliable and effective dynamic thermal management for high performance chips. Since our proposed thermocouple array-based sensor uses only metals, the resulting sensor design occupies minimal area on the silicon layer. Furthermore, we show that such a metal-based design is advantageous in mitigating process variations. The working principle of the proposed thermocouple array is demonstrated with a bimetallic macroscopic prototype. Our thermocouple prototype tracks the temperature variation from 20°C to 160°C to within less than 1°C. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that the sensor array is robust against process variations to a thermal accuracy of less than 1°C.

Published in:

Thermal Investigations of ICs and Systems (THERMINIC), 2010 16th International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

6-8 Oct. 2010