The current work is a survey of applied applications of passive 2-phase technologies, such as heat pipe and vapor chamber, in heat sink designs with thin base for electronic cooling. The latest improvements of the technologies and manufacturing processes allow achievable heat sink base thickness of 3 mm as compared to around 5 mm previously. The key technical challenge has been on maintaining structural integrity for adequate hollow space for the working fluid vapor in order to retain high performance while reducing the thickness of the overall vapor chamber or flattened heat pipe. Several designs of thin vapor chamber base heat sink and embedded heat pipe heat sink from different vendors are presented for a moderate power density application of a 60 W, 13.2 mm square heat source. Numerous works have been published by both academia and commercial applications in studying the fundamental science of passive 2-phase flow technologies; their performance has been compared to solid materials, like aluminum and copper. These works have established the merits of using heat pipes and vapor chambers in electronic cooling. The intent of this paper is to provide a methodical approach to help to accelerate the process in evaluating the arrays of different commercial designs of these devices in our product design cycle. In this paper, the trade-offs between the different types of technologies are discussed for parameters such as performance advantages, physical attributes, and some cost considerations. This is a bake-off evaluation of the complete heat sink solutions from the various vendors and not a fundamental research of vapor chambers and heat pipes — for that, it is best left to the vendors and universities.

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