As microprocessor power exceeds 100W, adequate heat removal by convective air-flow through a heatsink increasingly becomes more challenging. This is especially true for low-profile servers with very limited volume for air-flow. It is therefore useful to have an idea of the limitations of air-cooling for such servers. In this paper, three case studies serve to illustrate the capability of typical air-cooled solutions for low-profile servers. These studies show the inherent limitations of air-cooled solutions for volume-constrained computer systems. Liquid-cooling has been used in cooling mainframe processors packaged in MCM format. Its use in low-cost servers is extremely limited. This paper will deal with issues that hinder widespread application of liquid-cooling in commercial servers. The most important issue is cost, followed by lack of commodity components suitable for liquid-cooled systems. One method to reduce cost is to use fabricate the cold plate using heatsink manufacturing techniques. Case studies are presented to show liquid-cooling with these lower cost cold plates can provide performance that exceeds air-cooling solutions. Finally, suggestions are offered for facilitating the introduction of liquid-cooling systems for future low-profile servers. This paper was also originally published as part of the Proceedings of the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Summer Conference.
- Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
Assessing Capabilities and Limitations of Air- and Liquid-Cooling for Low Profile Servers
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Chan, A, & Wei, J. "Assessing Capabilities and Limitations of Air- and Liquid-Cooling for Low Profile Servers." Proceedings of the ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems collocated with the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Summer Conference. Advances in Electronic Packaging, Parts A, B, and C. San Francisco, California, USA. July 17–22, 2005. pp. 445-450. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IPACK2005-73293
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