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Fins, fans, and form: volumetric limits to air-side heatsink performance

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1 Author(s)
Holahan, M.F. ; Thermal Packaging Group, IBM, Rochester, MN, USA

In design of high performance heatsinks, it is vital to understand how the primary constraints of volumetric footprint and hydraulic operating point limit maximum thermal performance. This paper provides a framework to establish a priori maximum attainable levels of air-side cooling performance for a given class of fin geometry over a basis of continuously varied footprint and hydraulic constraints. A model of packaging volume required for air moving devices to deliver flow and pressure is developed. It is shown how single fin thermal model results may be extrapolated to multiple fan-heatsink combinations within an open design space. A method to identify fin-fan combinations to achieve maximum system volumetric conductance levels is presented. The methodology is extendable to other volumetrically constrained heat exchanger problems.

Published in:

Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 2 )