AMD Drives Integrated Peltier Cooling into Chips

AMD Preps Extreme Cooling for Future Chips

by Anton Shilov
10/22/2004 | 08:58 AM

Advanced Micro Devices, one of the world’s leading makers of central processing units, has patented a technology that would allow the chipmaker to use so-called Peltier cooler with its future microprocessors for better heat dissipation and more efficient cooling of future chips. Still, the fact of the patent does not mean that the tech will find itself in commercial products.


“Various embodiments of a semiconductor-on-insulator substrate incorporating a Peltier effect heat transfer device and methods of fabricating the same are provided. In one aspect, a circuit device is provided that includes an insulating substrate, a semiconductor structure positioned on the insulating substrate and a Peltier effect heat transfer device coupled to the insulating substrate to transfer heat between the semiconductor structure and the insulating substrate,” says an abstract description of US patent number 6,800,933 submitted by AMD.

The Inquirer web-site claims that the patent could be a way of mastering problems associated with 65nm process technology, though, the source presumably familiar with the matter does not indicate the reason for such assumption.

Since transistor count and clock-speed of central processing units has been rising throughout the history of chipmaking, it is expected that 65nm microprocessors will dissipate much more than today’s CPUs and will be hard to cool down using traditional technologies. It is reported that AMD could mount its Peltier-like cooling systems directly on its microprocessors to avoid local overheats and efficiently maintain CPU temperatures within 50-60 degrees Celsius envelope.

It is unknown which power consumption 65nm AMD processors will have, but it is known that AMD said a substantial part of its chips will feature two processing engines by the time the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker transits to 65nm. It is also known that AMD and Intel are not planning to rise clock-speeds of their dual-core chips as quickly as with the single-core products.