The recent growth in electronics power density has created a significant need for effective thermal management solutions. Liquid-cooled heat sinks or cold plates are typically used to achieve high volumetric power density cooling. A natural tradeoff exists between the thermal and hydraulic performance of a cold plate, creating an opportunity for design optimization. Current design optimization methods rely on computationally expensive and time consuming computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Here, we develop a rapid design optimization tool for liquid cooled heat sinks based on reduced-order models for the thermal-hydraulic behavior. Flow layout is expressed as a combination of simple building blocks on a divided coarse grid. The flow layout and geometrical parameters are incorporated to optimize designs that can effectively address heterogeneous cooling requirements within electronics packages. We demonstrate that the use of population-based searches for optimal layout selection, while not ensuring a global optimum solution, can provide optimal or near-optimal results for most of the test cases studied. The approach is shown to generate optimal designs within a timescale of 60–120 s. A case study based on cooling of a commercial silicon carbide (SiC) electronics power module is used to demonstrate the application of the developed tool and is shown to improve the performance as compared to an aggressive state-of-the-art single-phase liquid cooling solution by reducing the SiC junction-to-coolant thermal resistance by 25% for the same pressure drop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041105
JournalJournal of Electronic Packaging, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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