On-chip kW-level hotspots have become a significant factor in the thermal design of modern electronic packages. Thermoelectric cooling has been shown to be capable of suppressing such hotspots, but it is not yet clear how to best deploy embedded thermoelectric microcoolers for notional hot spot scenarios. This paper will present the results of recent work on thermoelectric “self cooling” of transient hotspots. A 3-D multi-physics numerical model is used to simulate the spatial and temporal temperature variations associated with a dynamic hotspot on a germanium substrate, for which the hotspot heat flux varies over time. The temporal interaction between the hotspot and the thermoelectric microcooler for specified hotspot duty cycle, hotspot heat flux profile, and thermoelectric cooler current profile will be examined. Due to the spatial separation between the cooler and the hotspot, the results suggest that anticipatory cooling, with a prescribed current profile, is a critical factor in the efficient removal of a transient hotspot.

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