In this paper we present a novel analytical approach for obtaining the thermal transfer function of multi-layer chips in the spatial frequency domain. The behavior of the transfer function is used to address a number of key issues such as 1) the appropriate power granularity required for microarchitecture thermal-power analysis, and 2) the impact of packaging and cooling solutions on heat removal from chip hotspots. The merit of the presented method is in 1) simplicity, such that even for rather complicated multi-layer structures the analysis takes only a fraction of a second, and 2) accuracy, because the approach is based on the exact solution of three-dimensional heat diffusion equations.

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