A transient three-dimensional numerical model was developed to determine the potential advantages of constructing an array of very small (100 μm diameter) heat pipes as an integral part of semiconductor chips. Because of the high effective thermal conductivity, this array of heat pipes functions as a highly efficient heat spreader. The numerical model presented here, when given the physical parameters of the chip and the locations and magnitude of the internal heat generation, is capable of predicting the time dependent temperature distribution, localized heat flux, and temperature gradients occurring within the chip. The results of this modeling effort indicate that significant reductions in the maximum chip temperature, thermal gradients and localized heat fluxes can be obtained through the incorporation of arrays of micro heat pipes. Utilizing heat sinks located on the edges of the chip perpendicular to the axis of the heat pipes and an optimized array density of 1.35 percent, reductions in the maximum chip temperature of up to 40 percent were achieved.

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