Thermal control of electronics: Perspectives and prospects
One of the most prominent industrial applications of heat transfer science and engineering has been electronics thermal control. Driven by the relentless increase in spatial density of microelectronic devices, integrated circuit chip powers have risen by a factor of 100 over the past twenty years, with a somewhat smaller increase in heat flux. The traditional approaches using natural convection and forced-air cooling are becoming less viable as power levels increase. This paper provides a high-level overview of the thermal management problem from the perspective of a practitioner, as well as speculation on the prospects for electronics thermal engineering in years to come.