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Thermal Interface Material (TIM2) Performance Evaluation
Keywords: Thermal interface materials, TIM2, package
Thermal interface materials (TIM) are commonly used within or in contact with the BGA/LGA processor packages utilized in server industry to enhance the thermal conduction path to the system’s heat sink. There are normally two levels of thermal interfaces, one within package between the Silicon die and the lid (TIM1) and the other between the package lid and system heat sink (TIM2). As the power magnitude and density increases due to demand for higher performance, it is critical that selected TIMs have lower resistance values, therefore, reducing the resistance from the package to external heat sink. This study concentrates on comparing thermal performance of various types of materials utilized as TIM2. The evaluation method utilizes a test apparatus consisting of a copper heating block in contact with a system-level air-cooled heat sink through TIM2. Power is applied to the heating block and thermal resistance is measured by monitoring the surface temperature of block and the heat sink base. Evaluated materials include: thermal grease, phase change material, graphite, and few others.
Eduardo De Los Heros, Sr. Engineer
San Diego, California

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