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A Modeling Methodology for Weight Optimization of Heat Sinks for Microprocessor Cooling
Keywords: heatsink, optimization, mass reduction
The present work demonstrates a modeling methodology for optimizing the mass of an aluminum extruded CPU heat sink using CFD methods. The heat sink considered for the study has an integrated fan in impinging mode. Heat sink mass optimization can be used to reduce metal and shipping costs, increase mechanical reliability due to lower shock and vibration loads, or improve thermal performance at a given mass. The optimization procedure is implemented in three stages. In Stage 1, base shape is optimized by a unique method that divides the base volume into 19 blocks of equal width with an objective to progressively minimize mass of the peripheral regions while shaping the middle region to minimize spreading resistance. Based on Stage 1 results, three base shape profiles, namely, wedges, semi-elliptical, and flat top, were selected for further study. In Stage 2, number of blocks in base was increased from 19 to 35 for greater resolution. A thorough base, fin thickness, and fin count study was carried out in this stage. Stage 3, the final stage, implements fin taper aspect ratio case studies for the already optimized fin count and thickness. The result of this optimization exercise was 30% reduction in heat sink mass. The thermal resistance of the mass-reduced design degrades only 1% when compared to the original design. An experimental program is being undertaken to validate the results of this simulation study, and will be reported in a future paper.
Ali A. Merrikh, Senior Product Development Engineer
Advanced Micro Devices
Austin, TX

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