Introduction to WayCoolTM Architecture
WayCoolTM Architecture from Waytronx, Inc., is the highest performance, most flexible heat removal system for advanced digital electronics. WayCool architecture-based cooling solutions outperform others in removing heat from devices and systems including multicore CPUs, GFX, memory systems, batteries, System on Chips (SOCs), disk drives, circuit boards, power supplies and 3D packaging. In addition to computing systems, WayCool architecture is now being applied to an array of digital components and systems in markets including solar, automotive, defense and many other new applications. Microwarming, the excess heat resulting from transistor leakage and the advance of Moore's Law, now limits performance of many advanced digital systems. WayCool architecture is the best solution to microwarming. At 400+ Watts, WayCool architecture has been demonstrated to be the highest performing CPU cooler design in the market. The WayCool architecture offers plenty of headroom to match future cooling requirements of advanced systems.
WayCoolTM Hybrid Mesh Technology based on WayCool architecture combines the convenience and cost effectiveness of air cooling with the heat removing performance of liquid cooling. Air convection cooling can be adapted to many form factors and fits many different environments. It requires low energy input and is cost effective. However, air cooling is limited in its ability to remove the levels of heat generated by modern high performance systems. Liquid cooling provides the needed convective thermal capacity for these systems, but it is bulky, heavy, a reliability risk from leaks and expensive. Conversely, WayCool architecture is a hybrid (air + liquid) thermal management architecture consisting of passive and active elements that provides the convenience and cost effectiveness of air cooling with the thermal capacity of liquid cooling -- without liquid's limitations.
Open Architecture. WayCool technology is designed around an open architecture. It combines patented, state of the art elements that include:
WayCool Carbon Technology for source heat WayCool Mesh, WayCoolantTM and hermetically sealed WayCool Pumps for liquid convective cooling WayCool Quiet Fans and heat sinks for active or passive air convective cooling.
WayCool technology components can be applied separately or in combination. They are available in predefined, tested Reference Designs which can be easily modified to fit individual system needs. This is possible because the technology is uniquely designed to improve performance in a variety of engineered combinations and modifications. Openly Licensable. WayCool technology is the best starting point for high performance cooling design. It is available through non-exclusive licensing agreements to OEMs, ODMs and throughout the industry. It offers faster time to market for new cooling solutions with proven testing, performance and availability of key elements. Flexible licensing terms provide a cost effective, pay-as-you-go business model. In summary, WayCool technology offers the best business solution as well as the best technical solution for heat removal in digital electronics.
Microwarming, the performance problem for Digital Electronics
Until recently, heat has largely been regarded as an inconvenient byproduct of processing. As a result, there has been little focus on designing a way to offload heat efficiently and effectively. Furthermore heat simply was never a performance barrier...until now. The progress described by Moore's Law has allowed processors to become exponentially more powerful. This is especially true with today's multicore CPUs and trends to 3D packaging and SOC integrated system designs. According to an article by Lee Gomes in The Wall Street Journal, Gordon Moore "admits that the limitation of power consumption had caught him, as well as the industry, by surprise." Gomes also wrote that "Big chips like the Pentium produce so much heat that Intel worries more about improving energy efficiency than performance."1 For more detailed information, consult the Waytronx Microwarming White Paper.
Digital system components produce large amounts of heat during operation. CPUs, chipsets, memory, graphics cards, hard drives, batteries and other ICs all discharge heat. This heat must be dissipated to keep these components within their safe operating temperatures. Some CPUs employ temperature sensing and will reduce performance to stay within safe operating temperatures. Those which do not may be damaged if they exceed rated temperatures. Overheated parts may also have shorter life-spans and may result in system freezes or crashes. Various methods and devices allow heat removal from digital components and systems for cooler ambient air to decrease heat generation. Heat removal can occur by conduction, convection or a combination of these methods.
Thermal conduction transfers thermal energy from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature, evening out temperature differences. The process is a result of physical contact between the particles of the materials. In this situation, direct physical contact is required between the hot IC and the heat transfer medium. Metals are good heat conductors, and aluminum or copper are often employed. Metals have free moving electrons in a crystalline structure, greatly increasing thermal energy transfer. They often transfer heat up 1 2x. WayCool Carbon technology can provide up to 4X the heat transfer ability of the best copper plate designs for demanding applications requiring greater thermal cooling. Thermal conductivity is measured by the conduction coefficient, k. Table 1 lists some typical conductive metals, compared with WayCool Carbon Technology.
Thermal conductivity (Wm-1K-1)
Copper (Cu), pure
Aluminum (Al), pure
Brass (Cu+(35-15)%Zn) 125 Wm-1K-1
Table 1: Thermal conductivity
Thermal convective heat transfer occurs by natural (or free) convection and forced or heat convection. Air surrounding a heat source receives heat, becomes less dense and rises. The surrounding, cooler air then moves to replace it. This cooler air is then heated and the process continues, forming a convection current. Forced convection uses motion generated by an external source (such as a pump, fan, suction device, etc.). Unlike pure conduction, movement of molecules in air or liquids account for the physical heat moving properties. Most solids are not effective as convective material. Forced convection occurs when pumps, fans or other means are used to propel the air or fluid and create an artificially induced convection current. Forced heat convection, or heat advection, transfers heat from the hot component to the surrounding air or fluid. The rate of heat transfer depends upon the geometry, fluid, temperature, velocity and other characteristics of the system in which convection occurs. The heat transfer ability must be derived or measured experimentally for every system. WayCool technology's patented elements and Reference Designs have been developed to give the highest heat transfer ability in convenient, cost effective form factors.
Thermal management in digital electronics
Many computers dispel heat with a combination of heat sinks and fans. Heat sinks are basically pieces of metal that provide lots of surface area for the air to touch. For instance, in a typical computer system, the chip warms the heat sink, the heat sink warms the air, and the fan moves the warm air out of the PC case. Historically, this approach has been adequate.
Air Cooling: The simplest heat sinks attach a block of machined metal to the component that needs cooling. An adhesive or thermally conductive pad or gel may be used with a clamp to hold the heat sink tight over the chip. The metal block may have fins and ridges to increase its surface area. The heat conductivity of metal is much better than air. Active systems mount fans of considerable size and power to the heat sink. The most common problem with today's heat sinks is fan failure. A lot of the inexpensive sink/fan combinations fail from worn out bearings. The airflow around the heat sink drops down to near zero, causing the processor to reach a temperature that reduces reliability and may cause calculation errors. In the worst case, the CPU is damaged. Liquid Cooling: Microwarming -- accelerated by multicore architecture, advanced graphics, multichip and 3D packaging, and all fueled by Moore's Law -- has pushed air cooling to its limits, creating the need for liquid cooling. Water has a higher thermal conductivity than air -- it can move heat faster than air can. Water also has a higher specific heat capacity. It can absorb more heat before it starts to feel hot, allowing water to transmit heat over greater distances with much less volumetric flow and reduced temperature difference. Despite these advantages, liquid cooled systems have been limited in digital electronics due to bulky size, cost, maintenance requirements, and reliability risks of losing fluid into the electronics, causing system failure. Liquid cooling is needed when electronic components produce more heat than the air around them can absorb or the fans required to move enough air to cool all the components make too much noise or use too much electricity. Apple was an early adopter of liquid cooling and one of the first to deploy it in CPUs in personal computers to achieve higher system performance.
In the past few years, liquid cooling has been deployed for cooling computer components, especially CPUs and GPUs. Water cooling usually consists of a CPU water block, a pump and a heat exchange system. Liquid cooling allows for quieter operation and improved performance that can remove heat from high performance processors. Often the liquid cooled system has enough heat removal capacity to additionally cool system memory, chipsets, graphics, and other components.
Figure 1: WayCool Architecture components
WayCool Architecture is a hybrid (air + liquid) thermal management architecture consisting of passive and active elements designed to work both independently to effectively cool systems and be combined in unique solutions called Reference Designs. Key elements of WayCool Architecture (see Figure 1) include:
WayCoolTM Carbon Block Technology provides up to 4X the conductive heat transfer capability, compared with most commonly used copper heat spreaders. This patented, strained carbon material is available only from WayTronX. WayCoolTM Mesh (see Figure 2), a patented structural integrity component of the architecture and liquid carrier that provides complete flexibility of form factor for cooling. Cooling systems can fit existing hold out areas for cooling or can be formed in a variety of shapes and sizes as needed. In addition, WayCool Mesh is the key component in the WayTronX 3C for 3D Packaging Technology Roadmap. WayCool Mesh design acts as a fully compliant interposer and enables the addition of communications (I/O) and current (power) to WayCool Architecture's industry-leading cooling capabilities in a single integrated packaging solution. WayCoolantTM Coolant is the ideal fluid designed for WayCool Mesh. Heat efficient, anti-microbial, and no maintenance required make WayCoolant the ideal liquid convective fluid medium. WayCool Sealed Pumps, when combined with WayCool Mesh, a WayCool hermetically sealed pump, increase the isothermicity of system components (see Figure 2) while eliminating the service and reliability risk of traditional liquid cooled systems. WayCool Heat Sinks are designed to radiate the heat captured by WayCool Mesh and WayCool Sealed Pumps away from the heat source. WayCool Quiet Fans are up to 35X quieter than typical higher performance air coolers. WayCool Heat Sinks and Quiet Fans are the final step in removing heat from the system.
Figure 2: Patented WayCool Mesh
Figure 3: Improved isothermicity with WayCool Architecture
WayCool Hybrid Architecture: Together, these WayCool architecture components provide the convenience and flexibility of air cooling with the superior thermal management performance of liquid cooling, without the bulk, maintenance and cost of liquid cooling. WayCool architecture is a hybrid architecture, combining the best conductive and convective heat removal components in one comprehensive architecture.
WayCool Reference Designs
WayCool Reference Designs provide fast time to market for OEMs, ODMs and remarketers who need specific cooling solutions that are designed, tested and ready to deploy. WayCool Reference Designs are available through licenses. Examples of Reference Designs include the WayCool U300DT and U400DT Reference Designs (example, figure 4) ! Up to 300Watts or 400Watts of thermal management capacity respectively ! Replaces liquid or air CPU coolers ! Intel Compatibility: All LGA775 processors ! AMD Compatibility: AthlonTM 64 / FX / X2 / OpteronTM Socket AM2 processors These CPU, dual core and quad core CPU Reference Design solutions are wholly self contained -- hybrid air/liquid coolers are integral in a self contained design that meet both Intel and AMD requirements. They are designed to help you ! Improve processor performance ! Operate at lower temperatures for improved reliability ! Maximize overclocking performance The WayCool U300DT and U400DT Reference Designs give system designers and users the maximum performance, convenience, and flexibility in a cooling solution that fits today's desktop computer environments. WayCool Reference Designs include: # # # # # # Bill of Materials Sources of supply for each ingredient Written Specification for each ingredient Cooler Engineering drawing Application notes Test Results
Figure 4: WayCool U400 Reference Design
WayCool U300 and U400 Reference Designs provide: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Performance better than any high performance air-only CPU cooler Upgradeability: supports current dual core and future quad core CPUs Quietness: Quieter than the current air-based coolers Compactness: Hybrid Liquid-air cooling system in a traditional air cooling form factor Good thermal transfer through WayCool carbon technology in direct contact with the CPU, reducing thermal resistance between heat source and WayCool Mesh
Additional WayCool Reference Designs planned for the near future include GPU solutions, dual and single slot solutions replacing current quad slot liquid coolers; integrated coolers for CPU, chipset, graphics, memory; and more.
Additional Applications for WayCool Architecture
Additional applications for WayCool architecture include Graphics Processing Units (GPU), Power Supply Units (PSU), Photovoltaic and Concentrating Solar Units (PV, CSP), Medical Monitors and LCD displays.
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Desktop CPUs may include WayCool technology cases as integrated cooling solutions, while server CPUs may include rack-mounts as integrated cooling solutions. According to a 2003-2004 study conducted by Ecos Consulting for California's Public Interest Energy Research Project (PIER), there are more than 3.1 billion power supplies in operation in the U.S. and 10 billion in use worldwide.2 Ecos also estimates that annual sales in the U.S. of power supplies which drive everything from speakers and remote controls to portable electronics are $450 million to $600 million.3 The increasing capacity of power supplies in smaller form factors is driving the need for dedicated cooling solutions. WayCool architecture's flexible form factor is ideal for power supplies. Conversion of sunlight to electrical energy is prone to temperature derating, or decrease in efficiency of energy production due to heat byproduct of sunlight collection. WayCool technology can increase efficiency of solar conversion by reducing operating temperatures. Sterilization of electronics within enclosures is extremely difficult or impossible in a hospital or clinic setting. Integrated cooling as part of the electronics enclosure will allow greatly reduced airflow through the inaccessible space and thereby limit cross contamination between sterile and non-sterile environments. Test equipment suppliers face overheating of high power Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and SOCs, and sensitivity of the fixtures to temperature fluctuations. Use of WayCool Architecture allows for precision management of electronics temperature within a narrowly defined window. Plasma displays are especially temperature sensitive, a problem traditionally countered by ventilated large-scale heat spreaders. LCD and Plasma displays can increase performance and reliability with WayCool architecture.
Facing our Future Thermal Management Challenges
As components in the microelectronics industry run at higher speeds with more computing capacity, the primary gating factor is thermal management. Currently, the costs and complexity of cooling techniques are setting overall system performance limits that negate many of the gains in speed and capability in multiprocessors and highend gaming chips, impacting the growth opportunities for those markets. As components in the microelectronics industry run at higher speeds with more computing capacity, the primary gating factor is thermal management. Microwarming limits system performance. Cooling needs to be designed in, not added on. WayCool architecture is the best bridge between the past and the future. WayCool architecture fits today's individual cooling needs for CPUs, GPUs, memory, chipsets and other system components. WayCool architecture also has the superior heat removal performance and flexible form factors and cost effectiveness to fit tomorrow's designed in cooling solutions. To learn more about WayCool architecture and other advanced solutions from Waytronx, visit our website at www.waytronx.com.
1 Lee Gomes, "Even an Intel Founder Can Still Be Impressed By Technology's Pace," The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2007 2 Ecos Consulting, Power Supply Efficiency: What Have We Learned?, February 2004, www.efficientpowersupplies.org
Ecos Consulting, Energy Efficient Electronics: A Market Transformation Strategy, presentation to ACEEE Market Transformation Symposium, Washington DC, March 14, 2005 *Waytronx and WayCool are trademarks of Waytronx, Inc. Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners. 2007 Waytronx, Inc. All rights reserved