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Thermal Solutions for Computers and Data Centers

Semiconductor thermal management solutions for high-performance multi-processor servers, desktops and notebooks are becoming more crucial as microprocessor sizes shrink and thermal loads rise.

Thermacore-home-servers-Computer and DataFor servers, desktop computers and notebooks, Aavid Thermacore meets the challenges of cooling today’s computing systems — and tomorrow’s — more efficiently, more cost-effectively and with a smaller overall footprint, through a variety of innovative products.



Advantages include: 

  • Lower processor junction temperatures for longer product life
  • Improved microprocessor reliability and speed
  • Reduced overall energy consumption through reduced airflow requirements

Aavid Thermacore offers a variety of thermal technologies to maintain microprocessor junction and case temperatures below maximum conditions while heat loads continue to increase. Aavid Thermacore has developed solutions with thermal resistances, Rth or Φ (°C/W) measured from heat sink to local internal ambient below 0.06°C/W at microprocessor powers exceeding 300 W.

Thermacore’s passive heat pipe computer microprocessor cooling technologies include:

  • Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Assemblies for superior, low profile three-dimensional heat spreading for applications such as 1U and blade servers with limited height above the processor and high heat flux conditions, which require the most efficient possible heat sink. Vapor chamber heat sinks can provide greater than 20% reduction over copper based in instances where the ratio of heat sink base area to die surface area is larger than 20:1.
  • Embedded Heat Pipe Heat Sink Assemblies enable heat spreading in server applications with moderate heat fluxes (<100 W/cm2), the need to improve all metal heat sink efficiency, and potential need to move heat from electronic components with various heights on the printed circuit board.
  • Therma-Tower® Heat Sink Assemblies offer a direct interface to the microprocessor to minimize thermal resistance for heat removal and provide “vertical” heat spreading. Therma-Tower Heat Sink Assemblies for microprocessor cooling applications such as 2U or 3U servers with high heat loads, available vertical height above the microprocessor processor and high heat flux conditions (>75 W/cm2).
  • Vapor Tower Heat Sink Assemblies combine vapor chamber low profile, three-dimensional heat spreading technology with the Therma-Tower “vertical” heat spreading. Vapor Tower technology for microprocessor cooling applications such as 2U or 3U servers with high heat loads, a need for significant heat spreading, available vertical height above the processor, and high heat flux conditions (>100 W/cm2).

For applications where forced air cooling is inadequate (extremely high heat loads and/or multiple heat sources), Thermacore’s active pumped Liquid Cooling System (LCS) technology may be the solution. This technology includes several cold plate technologies (microchannel or vertical fin and powder metal) that interact with a thermally conductive liquid, delivered via a pump, to remove heat from the processor.

Data Center Cooling

For efficient data center cooling, computer server microprocessors, CPUs and other concentrated loads can be coupled directly to cooling water (chiller) circuits while keeping water outside the cabinet — with Aavid Thermacore's Therma-Bus® technology. Therma-Bus gives you the benefits of water as a cooling medium — with much better heat transfer properties than air — without concerns about introducing water to an electronic environment. Improved thermal efficiency (reduced ΔT) also cools major data center loads without active refrigeration.

Therma-Bus also lets you use open cooling tower output for server cooling without compressors and chillers (and refrigerants). Eliminating these items can reduce data center facility energy usage by 18%, according to an ASHRAE paper (Leonard and Phillips, 2005), which provided a detailed analysis comparing compressor/chiller-free server cooling with conventional cooling for a 40,000 square foot data center.


Thermal management challenge? Take the first step towards the solution for you. Please contact an Aavid Thermacore technical representative or e-mail for more information on our thermal solution technologies.

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