The thermal management challenges facing electronic system developers and the need, as well as challenges, associated with the development of a Gen-3 embedded cooling paradigm are examined. We argue that the inherent limitations of the prevailing “remote cooling” technology have resulted in commercial and military electronic systems that are thermally-limited, performing well below the inherent electrical capability of the device technology they exploit. To overcome these limitations and remove a significant barrier to continued Moore's law progression in electronic components and systems, DARPA is pursuing the aggressive development of thermal management “embedded” in the chip, substrate, and/or package to directly cool the heat generation sites. The options and challenges associated with the development of this “Gen-3” thermal management technology are described.

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