Transient thermal analysis of a microprocessor using a heat spreader with variable thermal storage characteristics

Mark Steinke
Satish Kandlikar

First proceedings of the international conference on heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, April 8-10, 2002. The complete proceedings can be found at . Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


The thermal performance of a heat spreader with Phase Change Material (PCM) is investigated experimentally under transient conditions. The transient thermal load generated by a microprocessor is obtained by running a variety of software applications commonly encountered in Personal Computer usage. The representative load cycle is used to simulate the chip with a variable heat source heater. Introducing PCM in selected pockets of the heat spreader modifies the heat spreader thermal characteristics. The heat dissipation characteristics of the air-cooling system mounted on the heat spreader are maintained constant for all of the experiments. The results indicate that modifying the thermal characteristics of the heat spreader improves the maximum heat dissipation rate under actual transient conditions encountered in PC operation.