An interdisciplinary research team from Georgia Tech, representing the the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), won the Best Paper Award at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED 2015), the premier conference in the area of low power electronics.


The team – consisting of ME Professor, Yogendra Joshi, and his Ph.D. student, Zhimin Wan, and ECE Associate Professor, Saibal Mukhopadhyay, and his Ph.D. student, Wen Yueh,  – received the award at ISLPED 2015 on July 22 in Rome, Italy for their paper entitled “Experimental Characterization of In-Package Microfluidic Cooling on a System-on-Chip." It also marks the second straight year that Mukhopadhyay and a student from his research group, known as the Gigascale Reliable Energy Efficient Nanosystem (GREEN) Lab, have won this award for their work on electro-thermal co-design and thermal management of integrated circuits. Joshi leads the Microelectronics and Emerging Technologies Thermal Lab in the Woodruff School.

Thermal management has always been a major challenge in high-performance processors. Today, even mobile and embedded systems on chip (SoCs) are becoming thermally limited as consumers need more and more performance from these devices, but they are limited by stringent constraints on volume, footprint, user experience, and cost.

The team aims to address the thermal challenges in mobile SoCs, and they have experimentally demonstrated in-package microfluidic cooling on a commercial SoC. To develop this technique, the team fabricated an interposer with micro pinfin-based fluidic cooling and successfully attached it to a commercial SoC. A piezoelectric pump, controlled by the SoC, was integrated in the system to demonstrate closed-loop control. Experiments using benchmark applications showed in-package fluidic cooling improves the SoC’s energy efficiency and reduces the design footprint compared to external passive cooling solutions.

The contribution of the work is a simple, yet effective approach to integrated chip-scale microfluidic cooling in a commercial-off-the-shelf device, and its experimental demonstration using a commercial SoC, namely Snapdragon boards donated by Qualcomm, to support power and thermal management research at Georgia Tech.

Media Contact: Jackie Nemeth