Co-designing power devices with microfluidics for cooling: Page 2 of 2

September 10, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Researchers at EPFL in Switzerland have created a single chip that combines a gallium nitride (GaN) power transistor and micro-fluidic cooling system.
Researchers at EPFL in Switzerland have created a single chip that combines a gallium nitride (GaN) power transistor and micro-fluidic cooling system.

The resulting system can extract heat of 1.7 kW/cm2 using only 570mW/cm2 of pumping power.

Using water for the cooling showed a coefficient of performance exceeding 10,000, a 50-fold increase compared to straight microchannels. “By removing the need for large external heat sinks, this approach should enable the realization of very compact power converters integrated on a single chip,” adds van Erp.

“This cooling technology will enable us to make electronic devices even more compact and could considerably reduce energy consumption around the world,” says Matioli. “We’ve eliminated the need for large external heat sinks and shown that it’s possible to create ultra-compact power converters in a single chip. This will prove useful as society becomes increasingly reliant on electronics.”

The initial chip demonstrates the viability of the process, and the next step is to use this in a real world AC-DC converter design. Then the researchers will be looking at how to manage heat in other devices, such as lasers and communications systems.

 

www.epfl.ch

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