TSMC, future chips could be prepared for water cooling

TSMC, future chips could be prepared for water cooling


TSMC, at the recent VLSI symposium, presented the results of its research on on-chip water cooling to combat problems related to heat dissipation, a method that involves integrating water channels directly into the design of the components themselves. . As transistors are increasingly compressed together due to denser manufacturing technologies and the addition of vertical 3D chip stacks, temperature becomes an increasingly critical issue to address. TSMC researchers think the solution is to allow water to flow between the circuits. It's an incredibly simple theoretical solution, but it's an extremely difficult engineering feat to safely accomplish for electronics.

Credit: TSMC Current cooling solutions typically work through direct contact with the heat spreader, technologies of direct contact with the die or complete immersion in a non-conducting fluid. Of these, the first two can efficiently cool only the layers with which they are directly in contact, which leads to enormous problems for the vertical stacking of the chips. In fact, the lower layers will have far more trouble dissipating their heat, leading to damage or throttling, both of which would be detrimental to performance. Not only that, but the upper layer will undergo greater stress as it will essentially have to transport the heat of the entire package through the dissipation layer. Furthermore, immersion in a non-conductive liquid, although efficient and probably better for stacked dies, is expensive and difficult to implement in professional scenarios already prepared for traditional air or water cooling.

TSMC has performed tests on a dummy semiconductor - a Thermal Test Vehicle (TTV), which is essentially a copper element - under controlled laboratory conditions. The company tested three types of channel integration: it used a pillar-based channel, where water could flow around active semiconductor pillars to cool them, a design featuring a trench design and a simple channel for l water over the rest of the silicon chip. The water was passed through an external cooling mechanism that lowered the temperature to 25ºC after passing through the silicon.

Credit: TSMC Credit: TSMC The company also tested three cooling designs to water: one with direct water cooling only (DWC), where water has its own circulation channels etched directly into the silicon as part of the manufacturing process; another design with water channels etched into its own silicon layer above the actual chip, with a layer of OX (Silicon Oxide Fusion) Thermal Interface Material (TIM) that transported heat from the chip to the water cooling layer; and finally a design that replaced the OX layer with a simpler and cheaper liquid metal solution. TSMC reported that the best solution was by far the first, which could dissipate up to 2.6kW of heat and offered a temperature delta of 63 ° C. The second was the one based on OX TIM, which could still dissipate up to 2.3kW of heat and offered a temperature delta of 83 ° C. The liquid metal solution arrived last, still managing to dissipate up to 1.8kW (temperature delta of 75 ° C). Of all the projects involving the passage of water, the one based on pillars was by far the best.

Of course, it will take years before such sophisticated cooling solutions are adopted in mass products. But this is definitely one of the ways forward to enable continued increases in transistor density and 3D chip development.

Looking for a new PSU to power your next GPU? Corsair RM750X, 750W modular power supply, is available on Amazon.

Taiwan tech giants TSMC, Foxconn wrangle Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deal

a person standing <a href="https://www.sportsgaming.win/2021/05/you-are-in-front-of-venture-capitalist.html">in front of</a> a crowd: FILE PHOTO: A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (<a href="https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/">COVID</a>-19) to a man during a vaccination session for elderly people over 75 years old, at a stadium in New Taipei City, Taiwan June 25, 2021. © Provided by Quartz FILE PHOTO: A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to a man during a vaccination session for elderly people over 75 years old, at a stadium in New Taipei City, Taiwan June 25, 2021.

Many governments across the world have had difficulty procuring vaccines. But perhaps none has had so difficult a time as Taiwan, thanks to its diplomatic limbo dating back to China’s civil war.

Back in February, Taiwan’s health minister Chen Shih-chung hinted that a deal to acquire 5 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had fallen through because of “outside interference.” In May, he claimed it fell apart over wording in a press release that used the word “country” in reference to Taiwan.

That, of course, is a red line for Beijing.

The difficulty of dealmaking with Taiwan

According to Beijing’s “One China” doctrine, there is no “China” but the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan has “always” been a part of it. This claim stems from China’s lengthy civil war between the Communists and the Kuomintang, or Nationalists, in the early part of the 20th century. It ended with the Kuomintang defeated and retreating to the island of Taiwan, while a Communist China was established on the mainland in 1949. (The Communist Party has never ruled in Taiwan.)

In recent years, after the independence-leaning Democratic People’s Party led by Tsai Ing-wen came to power in Taiwan, China has put more energy into making countries, companies, and organizations fall in line with this core tenet. That means that in the midst of a global pandemic, Taiwan is excluded from organizations like the World Health Organization, or attending its annual meeting. Even the US, a staunch Taiwan ally, doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan as a country, though it does back its right to have an international presence.

While Taiwan has ordered vaccine doses from US firm Moderna, and also received vaccine donations, it’s been harder to reach a deal with Germany’s BioNTech, which co-produced a vaccine with Pfizer. BioNTech had already agree to work with China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical as a strategic partner for distributing the vaccine in “greater China,” a geographical designation that skirts the geopolitical issues to include Taiwan. The two companies have also set up a joint venture to produce vaccine doses for China.

For its part, Taiwan has stoutly refused to accept vaccines made in China despite its shortage—and even if the government had accepted them, it’s unclear that citizens would have lined up to take them.

Taiwan’s tech companies find a workaround

As a new Covid-19 outbreak spread across the island starting in April, it appears that pressure built up behind-the-scenes to break this impasse. This is where contract manufacturing giant Foxconn and semiconductor titan TSMC, both with strong networks in China, come in.

In a $350 million deal finally announced today (July 12), Foxconn, TSMC, a charity controlled by Foxconn founder Terry Guo, and Swiss-owned Zuellig Pharma, entered into an agreement with Fosun Industrial, a unit of Fosun Pharma, to buy 10 million vaccine doses. The doses that will be shipped to Taiwan, perhaps as soon as September, will come from Germany. Zuellig Pharma is acting as the buyer on behalf of the tech firms. After the tech giants receive their doses they will then hand them over, under the auspices of a donation contract, to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control.

Wang Jianmin, an expert on China-Taiwan ties at Minnan Normal University, told China’s Global Times tabloid that the agreement probably wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of private influential companies on either side to bypass the political hurdles.

With this arrangement, everyone gets what they want, sort of.

Powered by Blogger.