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The need for a full-chip and package thermal model for thermally optimized IC designs

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4 Author(s)
Wei Huang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA, USA ; Humenay, E. ; Skadron, K. ; Stan, M.R.

Modeling and analyzing detailed die temperature with a full-chip thermal model at early design stages is important to discover and avoid potential thermal hazards. However, omitting important aspects of package details in a thermal model can result in significant temperature estimation errors. In this paper, we discuss the applications of an existing compact thermal model that models both die and package temperature details. As an example, a thermally self-consistent leakage power calculation of a POWER4-like microprocessor design is presented. We then demonstrate the importance of including detailed package information in the thermal model by several examples considering the impact of thermal interface material (TIM), which glues the die to the heat spreader. The fact that detailed package information is needed to build an accurate compact thermal model implies a design flow, in which the chip- and package-level compact thermal model acts as a convenient medium for more productive collaborations among circuit designers, computer architects and package designers, leading to early and efficient evaluations of different design tradeoffs for an optimal design from a thermal point of view.

Published in:

Low Power Electronics and Design, 2005. ISLPED '05. Proceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

8-10 Aug. 2005