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Internal Thermal Management of IBM P-Server Large Format Multi-Chip Modules Utilizing Small Gap Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
Patrick A. Coico, Gaetano Messina, Steven Ostrander, Jeffrey Zitz, Wei Zou

IBM, Hopewell Junction, NY

Paper No. IPACK2005-73422, pp. 611-616; 6 pages
  • 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
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4200-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The large Multi-Chip Modules (MCM) used in the IBM p-Server computer systems, and their predecessors, have required rather unique cooling solutions and module hardware designs in order to meet the thermal, mechanical and reliability requirements placed on the package. The module internal thermal solution has evolved from a spring-loaded metal contact technology to a thermal compound based design using a novel gap adjustment technology employing a soldered conduction component. This current MCM makes use of a novel technology called Small Gap Technology (SGT). This technique makes it possible to control thermal compound interface thicknesses or gaps to a very tight tolerance from chip-to-chip and module-to-module. Heat flux values that have been handled vary from approximately 20 to 53 W/cm2 depending on the type of chip and the system performance level. Even higher heat fluxes have been projected for next generation products. The hardware and processing techniques employed to manufacture these modules are quite unique. These products are typically on the order of 100mm chip carrier size or 140mm overall module footprint on a side (approximately 90 cm2 of carrier area) and contain 8 chips and numerous discrete devices. The process fixturing and equipment must be able to handle the relatively large thermal mass of the components. The sequence of processing steps must take into account limitations on the material properties of the various module components. This paper will describe the SGT thermal management solution. The hardware and process employed to make the gap adjustments and the thermal interface material used in these high heat flux applications will be discussed. In addition, supporting thermal/mechanical modelling, thermal performance data and reliability data will be presented.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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