Thermal Management of Computer Systems Using Active Cooling of Pulse Tube Refrigerators
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    Thermal Management of Computer Systems Using Active Cooling of Pulse Tube Refrigerators

    S.W.K. Yuan

    BEI Technologies, Cryocooler Group
    Sylmar, CA 91342

    H.H. Jung

    Intel Corporation
    Santa Clara, CA 95052


    With the advances in computational speed, thermal management becomes a major concern in computer packaging. Heat dissipation as high as 120 to 150 watts has to be rejected from the CPU chip. Conventional cooling methods have their shortcomings. Convective fans have limited cooling capacity and heat pipes contain undesirable working fluids that may leak and contaminate the computer components. The feasibility of using the active cooling of a pulse tube refrigerator for thermal management is studied in this paper. Pulse tube coolers are very similar to Stirling coolers which have been used extensively in the tactical world, e.g. cooling of sensors in infrared cameras. Pulse tube coolers are more reliable than Stirling coolers with less moving parts but are generally less efficient. Recently, the research in Pulse Tube coolers has shown that Pulse Tube refrigerators are just as efficient as Stirling coolers in the range of cooling capacities discussed above. The thermodynamic efficiency, design and packaging of a Pulse Tube cooler for thermal management of a computer system will be discussed in detail.

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    About the author- Dr. Sidney Yuan is a consultant in the field of Low Temperature Physics and Cryogenics, and has written a Book on Cryogenics and published extensively in the field. E-Mail.

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