The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Intel-led Team Demonstrates First Chip-Scale Thermoelectric Refrigerator

An integrated thermoelectric device cools a hot spot on a much larger chip

3 min read

28 January 2009—Researchers at Intel, Arizona State University in Tempe, RTI International, and Nextreme Thermal Solutions reported Sunday that a small thermoelectric device embedded in a chip package could cool a much larger chip. The thermoelectric chiller, a device that pumps heat when current flows through it, cooled a 0.16-square-millimeter hot spot on a 140-mm2 chip by nearly 15 °C. The researchers say it was the first demonstration of viable chip-scale refrigeration technology.

The prototype brings together two breakthroughs that different thermoelectric groups have hit upon over the past decade. First is the realization that nanoscale layers of thermoelectric material make for much more efficient cooling devices. And second, using thermoelectric heat pumps for cooling the hottest spots on a microprocessor is a much more energy-efficient approach than trying to cool the whole chip.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
Vertical
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
DarkBlue1

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["31996907"]}