Mikros Technologies: High-Efficiency Liquid Cooling for High Power Processors

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Jesse McGowan, Senior Vice President
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in silicon chip power densities resulting in high heat per unit area, which calls for an innovative solution to extract more heat with less energy input. An exemplary solution developed by Mikros Technologies uses microchannels in unique orientations for more efficient heat transfer than standard finned cold plates. Born out of a similar NASA Johnson Space Center project 30 years ago, Mikros Technologies has developed a heat sink technology that retains the high heat flux capability but eliminates high-pressure drop and non-uniform surface temperatures often seen in more common solutions.

"We're able to cool hotter chips in smaller areas, even with lower flow rates, in a hyper-scale data center," says Drew Matter, vice president, Mikros Technologies. "Our liquid cooling solutions can dissipate more than 1 kW/ cm2 with as low as 20°C temperature rise or three psi pressure drop." The company offers microchannel and minichannel liquid cooling solutions powered by its patented Normal Flow cold plates.

Mikros cold plates have found a use in data centers where more cooling needs to be achieved with less power input, saving operating costs. The data centers can utilize higher inlet fluid temperatures or smaller pumps with their more efficient heat transfer rates to meet higher ASHRAE targets for sustainability. Mikros Technology can also tailor its MicroMatrix™ technology for higher cooling over hotter die on a multi-chip module (MCM) and lesser cooling over lower power die to keep the thermal dynamics even across the chip. In addition, Mikros’ cold plate designs can be used in lidless chips to track the die curvature and its dynamic contraction to minimize the bond line thickness of the thermal interface material, which is a significant help to the thermal management of next-generation processors.
Mikros Technologies has delivered highly customized solutions for data centers, ASICs and AI Processing units, IGBTs, MOSFET, EV Power, Laser and Optics and supercomputers. Once a client approaches the company, the team spends the first few weeks understanding the system's detailed thermal and geometric constraints. Mikros can provide an already developed cold plate if the client requires a similar cooling geometry. For custom silicon, Mikros adapts its MicroMatrix™ cooling technology to the client’s geometries and tailors a cold plate to the thermal needs of the chip at its maximum power and beyond.

Our liquid cooling solutions can dissipate more than 1 kW/cm2 with as low as 20°C temperature rise or three psi pressure drop

A prototype can be delivered in a matter of weeks. Take the example of the Anton 3 supercomputer developed by DE Shaw Research. Designed for molecular dynamics, Anton Three models the bond dynamics of proteins by the femtosecond. DE Shaw Research approached Mikros with a custom ASIC silicon and many other power modules and components on their board. Mikros developed a cold plate that cooled the high-powered lidless ASIC and the power modules around it. It has been deployed in over 5000 nodes in the new release of the supercomputer.

From NASA Johnson Space Center to Anton 3, Mikros Technologies has had a long journey as a thermal innovation house. They have expertise in single- and two-phase cooling, but they approaches each client with a fresh slate to optimize performance, value and cost. The academic powerhouse backing the company enables it to design and use innovations developed over the past 30 years. Whether on the heat transfer side, inside a cold plate, or even mechanically across a server board, Mikros addresses local chip cooling or broader assembly issues. The company ensures its clients achieve their thermal goals and exceed their intended outcomes as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Mikros Technologies

Claremont, NH

Jesse McGowan, Senior Vice President

Designs and manufactures microchannel and minichannel liquid cooling solutions

Mikros Technologies