For a high-power integrated circuit (IC), it is desirable to cool with the liquid micro-channels. However, the non-uniform power distribution of the IC is a great challenge. In this paper, the strip-and-zone strategy is presented. First, the optimal channel-width assuming a uniform power distribution of the total chip power is considered as a nominal situation. Then, according to the distribution of the power density of the power blocks on chip, the micro-channels are divided into several parallel strips with various zones in these strips. A further optimization of the channel-width of each zone in the strips shall be made that a higher heat transfer coefficient will occur in the zones of higher heat flux, while the strips of higher total power will have same or less flow resistances. As a result, under the same pressure drop among all the strips, same or more flow will occur at the strips of higher total power and the maximum temperature on the chip is reduced. Illustration of this strip-and-zone micro-channel liquid cooling design is provided through a design case of an IC chip with realistic power distribution. Comparing with the same chip at the air cooling and at the micro-channel cooling with the nominal channel-width, the chip at strip-and-zone micro-channel liquid cooling yields the lowest surface temperature as expected.

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