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37th Annual SEMI-THERM

SEMI-THERM thermal conference is a week full of technical presentations, exhibits, short courses, how to courses, and panel discussions.

Download the Final Program PDF (2MB).

All times PDT

7:00 AM Morning Short Courses

Short Course 1: Let’s Work Together: How Co-Design Leads to Better Solutions in Thermal ManagementLauren Boteler, Army Research
Short Course 2: Design and Optimization of Heat Sinks Marc Hodes and Georgios Karamanis, Transport Phenomena Technologies, LLC
9:00 Break
9:20 Short Course 3: Micro-Two-Phase Electronics Cooling...Getting it on its WayJohn R. Thome, JJ Cooling Innovation
Short Course 4: Introduction to Electronics CoolingPatrick Loney, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
11:20 Break
11:40 Liquid Cooling Panel
12:40 PM End
AMOpening Remarks
Technical Session - Track 1: Consumer Electronics
Increased System Performance and Reduced Surface Touch (Skin)Temperature in Mobile Electronics Utilizing Composites of Graphite withUltra-High Spreading Capacity and Insulation with Ultra-Low ThermalConductivityMitchell Warren
An Analysis of Temperature Variation Effect on Response and Performance of Capacitive Microaccelerometer Inertial SensorsJacek Nazdrowicz
Thermal Acceptability Limits for Wearable Electronic DevicesMark Andrew Hepokoski
Vendor Workshop
Keynote Presentation
Opening Opportunities for Thermal Design through Innovations in CFDLieven Vervecken, Diabatix
10:00 Break Talk: Anatomy of a QDBeth Langer, CPC
Technical Session - Track 2: Automotive/Aerospace/Outdoor
Effects of Solder Voiding on the Reliability and Thermal Characteristics of Quad Flatpack No-lead (QFN) ComponentsRoss Wilcoxon
Characteristics of Practical CTE-Matched Composites for Electronics Thermal Management: Comparative StudyDave Saums
11:00Vendor Workshop
11:30 Break Talk: Introducing Celsius Thermal SolverMelika Roshandell, Cadence
11:50 Technical Session - Track 3: Two Phase Cooling I
Numerical Investigation of Coolants for Chip-embedded Two-Phase CoolingPritish R Parida
Numerical Investigation of Thermal Spreading Resistance of Vapor ChambersFarzan Kazemifar
12:30 PMVendor Workshop
1:00 End
AMOpening Remarks
Technical Session - Track 4: Data Center
Determination of Cost Savings Using Variable Speed Fans for Cooling ServersNicole Okamoto
Effects of Different Coolants on the Cooling Performance of an Impingement Microchannel Cold PlateCong Hiep Hoang
Sensitivity Analysis of a Calibrated Data Center Models to Minimize the Site Survey EffortSaurabh Singh
Vendor Workshop
Break Talk: Warmer Coolants for Enhanced Data Center SustainabilityAnthony Cosenze, Jetcoo
9:00 Thermi Award Presentation
10:00 Break Talk: Metal TIM Innovations for High Performance ApplicationsIndium Corp.
Technical Session - Track 5: Liquid Cooling
Unified Method to Model Closed-Loop Liquid CoolingAlbert Chan
Thermohydraulic Performance of Heat Sink with Sinusoidal Microchannels Embedded with Pin-Fins for Liquid Cooling of Microelectronic ChipsBobby Mathew
11:00Vendor Workshop
11:50 Technical Session - Track 6: Measurement Techniques/CFD
Cross Correlation Method for Images Alignment: Application to 4 Buckets Calculation in ThermoreflectanceMetayrek Youssef
Including Electrothermal Effects in Electronics Design with Connected FANTASTIC BCI-ROMsByron Blackmore
12:30PMVendor Workshop
AMOpening Remarks
Technical Session - Track 7: Thermal Interface Materials
CVD Polycrystalline Diamond for Laser Diode ApplicationsFirooz Faili
Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Squeezing Process on the Microstructure and Performance of Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs)Rajath Kantharaj
Metallic TIMs for Liquid Immersion Cooling and Cryogenic Temperatures for Quantum ComputingDave Saums
8:10 Vendor Workshop
9:00 Embedded Tutorial
10:00 Break Talk: High Thermal Conductivity TIMs for Efficient Heat Removal in Electronic DevicesJohn Grillo, Nanoramics
10:20 Technical Session - Track 8: Two Phase Cooling II
Design and Optimization Array of Micropillar Structures for Enhanced Evaporative Cooling of High-Powered ElectronicsKidus Guye
Actively Cooled Two-phase Cold Plate for High Heat Flux ElectronicsMichael C Ellis
11:20 Hall of Fame Award Presentation
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
JEDEC JC15 Meeting (members only)

Short Courses

These two-hour classes provide practical, interactive training on a variety of specific skills on topics ranging from thermal design & modeling to system level validation testing. Some are designed for those who are relatively new to thermal management. As such, they focus on basic concepts and techniques. Other classes are meant for seasoned thermal engineers wanting to gain deeper insight into best-in-class tools and practices. Attendees can choose one Short Course in the morning and one in the afternoon.

7:00 AM Short Course 1: Let’s Work Together: How Co-Design Leads to Better Solutions in Thermal Management Presented by: Lauren Boteler, Army Research

Laboratory Optimization studies are generally done intradisciplinary rather than interdisciplinary, and this leads to conflict as different fields have different values when it comes to what they want in a packaged solution. Heat sinks in energy dense power electronics are an excellent example of where better communication and co-design models can yield significant improvements to fielded performance with just a small amount of preparation during the design phase. Parameterization and Figure of Merit (FOM) definitions that encapsulate electrical/ thermal/mechanical properties pare down the solution space to a set that represents what all fields want rather than cyclically proposing “optimal” solutions that one or more fields can’t possibly accommodate. This course will examine how fielded solutions were truly optimized using novel co-design tools and optimization techniques which span multiple disciplines. The case studies examined will show marked improvement beyond what single-track minded approaches yield, and lessons learned from this course will translate directly to better solutions in your workplace.

Dr. Lauren Boteler leads the thermal and packaging research programs as part of the Advanced Power Electronics group at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). She received her Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. Her work at ARL, beginning in 2005, has focused on electronics packaging and thermal management solutions for a wide range of Army applications. She designs thermal and packaging solutions including 3D chip stacking, power electronics, laser diodes, RF HEMT devices, top side cooling, phase change materials, and additive manufacturing. More recently, she has initiated a research program in Advanced Power Electronics Packaging and Thermal Management which focuses on four main challenges of power electronics packaging: transient thermal mitigation, additive manufacturing, coengineering/codesign, and high-voltage packaging. She was also awarded the 2018 ASME EPPD Woman Engineer of the Year award for her contributions to the electronics packaging community.

7:00 AM Short Course 2: Design and Optimization of Heat Sinks Presented by: Georgios Karamanis, Transport Phenomena Technologies, LLC

This course provides the audience with an understanding of heat sink design and optimization in the context of the thermal management of electronics. The course has two parts. The first part begins with an overview of common methods to manufacture heat sinks such as extrusion, die casting and forging, and discusses their advantages and disadvantages with respect to cost and fin geometry. Attention then shifts to the theory of spreading resistance and how it can be calculated in order to properly size the thicknesses of the bases of heat sinks. Next, the theory of the operation of heat pipes in tubular and flat (vapor chamber) configurations is presented along with their roles in smoothing out temperature gradients in the fins and bases of heat sinks. In the second part of the course, single-phase conjugate heat transfer, where conduction in the heat sink is coupled to convection in the coolant, i.e., air or water, flowing through the heat sink is highlighted. We discuss why the constant heat transfer coefficient assumption tends to be an invalid one in real heat sinks by using specific examples. Then, the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to compute conjugate Nusselt numbers is considered. The course concludes with a discussion of how to embed pre-computed results for conjugate Nusselt numbers and dimensionless flow resistances for heat sinks in flow network models (FNMs) of circuit packs such as blade servers. Finally, how to use a multi-variable optimization scheme to optimize the geometry (fin thickness, spacing, height, length) of an array of heat sinks in a circuit pack represented by an FNM model with embedded tabulations of CFD results is discussed.

Marc Hodes is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University and the CTO of Transport Phenomena Technologies, LLC. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering, the latter from MIT in 1998. He held a succession of appointments at Alcatel-Lucent’s (now Nokia’s) Bell Laboratories from Postdoctoral Scientist to Manager of a Thermal Management Research Group between 1998 and 2008, when he joined Tufts University.

Georgios (George) Karamanis is a Co-Founder and Senior Engineer in Transport Phenomena Technologies, LLC. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University. He has expertise in analytical, numerical and experimental techniques relevant to convective transport. He is the PI in a NSF Phase I SBIR awarded to Transport Phenomena Technologies, LLC, to develop specialized thermal modeling software and hardware for Data/Telco centers.

9:20 AM Short Course 3: Micro-Two-Phase Electronics Cooling…Getting it on its Way Presented by: John R. Thome, JJ Cooling Innovation

Two-phase flow and flow boiling heat transfer can reliably cool heat fluxes in excess of 500 W/cm2 with heat transfer coefficients nearing 100 kW/m2K with respect to the cold plate’s base area. Yet, industry is hesitant to accept this technology on a large scale. Most of the reservations about this approach are easily mitigated with proper design/planning, and the benefits are substantial. In general, a micro-thermosyphon that works passively with gravity-driven flow is used with heat dissipation to a compact air coil. Due to the new “form factor” and huge surface area of the coil compared to an air-cooled heat sink, energy consumption by the fans is greatly reduced. Furthermore, a thermosyphon (no electrical driver or flow controllers) provides high reliability that is commonplace with packages which use two-phase thermal management. This lecture will recount the history and background of two-phase cooling, noting lessons learned along the way. Several case studies will be presented where a design flaw was mitigated and the resulting improvements in performance will be highlighted. At the end of this course, you will be able to successfully design a two-phase cold plate cooled system which improves the reliability, cost of operation, and longevity of your devices.

John R. Thome is co-owner of JJ Cooling Innovation, a consulting/thermal engineering software company Sàrl based in Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1998 to 2018 he was Professor-Emeritus of Heat and Mass Transfer at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (JJ Cooling Innovation), Switzerland. He is also a visiting professor at Brunel University in London and an Honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh. He obtained his PhD at Oxford University in 1978. He recently received the 2019 IEEE Richard Chu ITHERM Award for Excellence in Thermal and Thermo-Mechanic Management of Electronics and the 2019 ASME Allan Krause Thermal Management Medal at InterPack. He is the author of five books on two-phase heat transfer and flow and has over 245 journal papers on macroscale and mircoscale two-phase flow, flow visualization, boiling/condensation heat transfer, flow pattern-based models, and micro-two-phase cooling systems for electronics cooling. He has done numerous sponsored projects with IBM, ABB, Nokia Bell Labs, Carl Zeiss, CERN, etc. He is editor-in-chief of the 16-volume series Encyclopedia of Two-Phase Heat Transfer and Flow (2016-2018). He founded the Virtual International Research Institute of Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer in 2014, now with 25 participating universities to promote research collaboration, sharing of experimental and numerical data, and education.

9:20 AM Short Course 4: Introduction to Electronics Cooling Presented by: Patrick Loney, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems

As electronic packages get smaller and the power dissipations increase, performing robust thermal analyses is an increasingly important step in the electronics packaging design process. This course will focus on the component level of the electronics assembly. Thermal management, proper cooling techniques, component attachment, and analytical modeling methods will be presented. How to decipher vendor datasheets will be discussed as well as the basics of how to model custom components. Best practices for steady state and transient operational modes are included. Process development will also be presented along with discussions on requirements compliance. Students will finish the course with an understanding of how to determine the limits and requirements of an electronics component, assess the thermal performance, how to integrate the performance model into a Next Higher Assembly (NHA) thermal model, and most importantly, how to communicate this information to their internal and external customers who are dependent on this data.

Patrick Loney recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with Northrop Grumman Corporation. He has over 35 years of experience in the thermal engineering/electronics cooling industry. He received his Batchelor of Sciences degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois and his Masters of Sciences degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University. He holds several US Patents and Trade Secrets, mostly dealing with thermal management and electronics cooling techniques. He has presented similar courses to internal customers as well as the 2019 IPC AMEX Expo.

Technical Sessions 

Each Technical Session typically includes 3 brief presentations (15 minutes plus a 5 minute Q&A) summarizing the design, tests, and findings of research and development efforts. Topics include any thermally related challenge or solution from the die to the facility level. Presentations are generally based on peer reviewed academic research but may also be private sector R&D professionals working alone or as part of an inter-agency program. With over 20 presentations scheduled for the symposium, attendees should expect to have a solid overview of the latest developments in thermal management.

Vendor Workshops

SEMI-THERM exhibitors offer a technical overview of a specific product during these 30 minute presentations. Scheduled throughout the symposium, presenters generally focus on the technical aspects of product selection, implementation and usage that are discussed as part of an engineering system / component discovery effort.

Vendor Exhibits

Be sure to spend some technical face time with the 20+ exhibitors that are available throughout the event to demonstrate and explain their products and services.

Keynote Speaker

Opening Opportunities for Thermal Design through Innovations in CFD

Presented by: Lieven Vervecken, Diabatix nv

Over the past decades, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has evolved from a purely research discipline to a reliable engineering practice. This evolution was driven by continued innovation in multiple domains, ranging from hardcore mathematics to HPC architecture development. Concurrently with this evolution, CFD has gradually taken on great importance in the thermal design process which has resulted in a countless number of products that could not have been realized otherwise. Yet, the potential for discovering new possibilities in thermal design through innovations in CFD remains enormous. This talk touches on a number of recent and upcoming innovations in CFD which have the potential to set this in motion.

Lieven Vervecken is co-founder and CEO of Diabatix nv where he is responsible for the general management development of the company. Diabatix is a Belgian technology scale-up specialized in generative design for cooling components that helps multinationals all over the world to push the boundaries in thermal design. What makes Diabatix unique is the implementation of AI in the designing process, both improving efficiency and saving time for engineers. Through this aspect Diabatix is a pioneer in the market.

Lieven’s mission, which he is realizing through Diabatix, is developing the next generation of design tools for designing cooling components. The goal is to completely remove the human interaction in this process and let the AI automatize the designing process from start to finish.

Before devoting his work full-time to Diabatix, Lieven completed two master’s degrees, one in mechanical engineering and one in nuclear engineering. After acquiring these master’s degrees he also did a PhD in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Leuven. Being fluent in multiple languages, Lieven is an experienced speaker at both national and international conferences. He is also a former lecturer at the University of Leuven and has written multiple publications. He is passionate about the limitless possibilities of combining engineering with artificial intelligence technology and takes every opportunity to expand his knowledge in this field. When Lieven is not working you can also find him in the kitchen, on his bike or enjoying a good book. (niet relevant?)

Liquid Cooling Panel

Join us Monday afternoon for the Liquid Cooling Panel. This panel will provide a broad perspective on the current usage of liquid cooling across a range of industries, including data centers, ground vehicles and aerospace. We will also look forward to the near-term trends according to these experts, then looking further out, with each panelist given the opportunity to describe the technological advances in liquid cooling that they would most like to see.

Tim Shedd, Ph.D.
Director of R&D
Motivair Corporation


Alfonso Ortega
James R. Birle Endowed Chair Professor of Energy Technology
Villanova University
Director, Villanova site of the NSF Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems

Emre Gurpinar, Ph.D.
R&D Staff, Electrical and Electronics Systems

Suresh Pichai
Director, Innovation and Development Research
Equinix Data Center

Debabrata Pal, Ph.D.
Technical Fellow
Collins Aerospace

Bapi Surampudi, Ph.D.
Staff Engineer, Electric Powertrain
Southwest Research Institute

Thermi Award Presentation

Each year, SEMI-THERM honors a person as a Significant Contributor to the field of semiconductor thermal management. The THERMI award is intended to recognize a recipient’s history of contributions to crucial thermal issues affecting the performance of semiconductor devices and systems. The 2020 THERMI award is proudly presented to:

Dr. Ross Wilcoxon

Ross Wilcoxon is an Associate Director with Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary.  He is part of the Mission Systems / Advanced Technology group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he conducts research and supports the development of prototype and production avionics systems for communication, processing, displays and radars.  His work is generally related to component reliability, electronics packaging and thermal management with specific areas of research including the development and implementation of glass-based composite coatings, liquid metal cooling, integration of commercial heat pipes into avionics, and determining the reliability of commercial microelectronic components.  Dr. Wilcoxon has been a Principal Investigator for research funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.  He has 30 US Patents, primarily in microelectronics packaging and thermal management.

Over the past 18 years, Dr. Wilcoxon has served in multiple roles on the SEMI-THERM program committee, including Vice-Program/Program/General Chair, Chair of the Technical Committee, head of the Best Paper selection team, and editor for Peer Reviewed papers.  He has been an invited speaker at SEMI-THERM, ITherm, IMAPS Thermal ATW and THERMES and has more than forty publications in journals, technical magazines and conferences.  Dr. Wilcoxon is also an editor for Electronics Cooling Magazine and has served on engineering advisory boards for South Dakota State University and the University of Iowa. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Engineering from South Dakota State University and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.   Prior to joining Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) in 1998, he was an assistant professor at South Dakota State University.

Join us Wednesday morning for Dr. Wilcoxon’s presentation.

Apollo – The Dawn of Semiconductor Thermal Management

Over fifty years ago, the majority of the world’s production of integrated circuits were used by a single project: the Apollo program that led to the first humans on the moon. Effective thermal management of the electronics used in Apollo played a critical role its ultimate success. This presentation provides a brief overview of the state of technology for electronics design and testing at the time of Apollo, describes electronic packaging and thermal management approaches used in Apollo systems, and talks about ways that the field of electronics cooling has changed, and not changed, over the past five decades.

Embedded Tutorial

Join us Thursday morning for the Embedded Tutorial, presented by Bruce Guenin, Ph.D.

Realistic Thermal Model for Human Skin in Contact with a Wearable Electronic Device

Makers of electronic devices try to provide as much performance and functionality in them as possible, consistent with certain limits for internal chip temperatures. For wearables, the external temperatures of these devices are also critical for user comfort and safety. For accuracy in a thermal model for the wearable device, it is necessary to accurately account for the transfer of heat into human skin. The commonly used ad-hoc assumption of an isothermal boundary condition representing the region of contact between a wearable device and human skin is no longer adequate. In the medical and biological fields, modeling the transfer of heat into or out of living tissue is a mature area of study. The dominant methodology in this regard is referred to as the Pennes biothermal model, named after its creator. It is a conduction model supplemented by a mechanism for cooling the tissue by blood flow, which Pennes called “perfusion.” The application of the Pennes model requires that certain specified material properties be measured for each of the different tissue types involved in the heat flow, namely: thickness, thermal conductivity, specific heat, and perfusion rate. In the case of human skin all three layers (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis) are separately represented. Despite its wide use in the life sciences, the Pennes biothermal model is virtually unknown in the electronics cooling sector. It’s the intent of this presentation to provide sufficient background information and details in its implementation that the attendees will be able to apply it immediately to their work.

Dr. Bruce Guenin has spent many years in the electronics and computer industries, which has given him a broad perspective on macro trends in these fields. His previous affiliations include Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Amkor. Currently, he is a consultant working with Electronic Cooling Solutions. He is a past chairman of the JEDEC JC-15 Thermal Standards Committee and the Semi-Therm Conference. He was an editor of Electronics Cooling from 1997 to 2020. His contributions to the thermal sciences have been recognized by receiving the Harvey Rosten Award in 2004 and the Thermi Award in 2010. He received a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Virginia. He has authored and co-authored over 90 papers and articles in the areas of thermal and stress characterization of microelectronic packages, electrical connectors, solid state physics, and fluid dynamics and has been awarded 18 patents in these areas

Hall of Fame Award Presentation

Join us Thursday afternoon for the presentation by this years Hall of Fame award recipient.

Each year the SEMI-THERM Educational Foundation Thermal presents the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of significant contributions to the field of electronics thermal management. This year’s recipient is Dr. Dereje Agonafer.

Dr. Dereje Agonafer is a Presidential Distinguished Professor in MAE at University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he heads two centers: Site Director of NSF I/UCRC in Energy Efficient Systems and Director of Electronic Packaging. After receiving his PhD at Howard University, he worked for 15 years at IBM. In 1991, his work was recognized by being awarded the “IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in Appreciation for Computer Aided Thermal Modeling.” Since joining UTA in 1999, he has graduated 225 graduate students (a record for the University) including 22 PhDs and currently advising 15 PhDs and 18 MS students. His new initiative is to start a new center called RAMPES (Center for Reliability Assessment in Micro and Power Electronic Systems) for which he has received significant funding including $1.3M for new equipment, 3000 sq ft of new lab space, Assistant and Associate Professor openings to work with him, and research engineer among others. For his contributions, he has received numerous awards including the 2008 Thermi Award, the 2009 InterPACK Excellence Award, the 2014 ITHERM Achievement Award, and the 2019 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award. Professor Agonafer was a Martin Luther King Visiting Professor at MIT during the 2007 academic year. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 2019, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. According to Dean Crouch, “the first current faculty member elected to the Academy.” Professor Agonafer is married to his wife Carolyn and they have two children; a son, Dr. Damena Agonafer who is Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and a daughter, Dr. Senayet Agonafer, a Radiologist, who works at Lennox Hill Radiology in New York City.

Event Description
Final Program
Short Courses