Thermal Management in Fine-Grained 3-D Integrated Circuits

Md Arif Iqbal, Naveen Kumar Macha, Wafi Danesh, Sehtab Hossain, Mostafizur Rahman

For beyond 2-D CMOS logic, various 3-D integration approaches specially transistor based 3-D integrations such as monolithic 3-D [1], Skybridge [2], SN3D [3] holds most promise. However, such 3D architectures within small form factor increase hotspots and demand careful consideration of thermal management at all levels of integration [4] as stacked transistors are detached from the substrate (i.e., heat sink). Traditional system level approaches such as liquid cooling [5], heat spreader [6], etc. are inadequate for transistor level 3-D integration and have huge cost overhead [7]. In this paper, we investigate the thermal profile for transistor level 3-D integration approaches through finite element based modeling. Additionally, we propose generic physical level heat management features for such transistor level 3-D integration and show their application through detailed thermal modeling and simulations. These features include a thermal junction and heat conducting nano pillar. The heat junction is a specialized junction to extract heat from a selected region in 3-D; it allows heat conduction without interference with the electrical activities of the circuit. In conjunction with the junction, our proposed thermal pillars enable heat dissipation through the substrate; these pillars are analogous to TSVs/Vias, but carry only heat. Such structures are generic and is applicable to any transistor level 3-D integration approaches. We perform 3-D finite element based analysis to capture both static and transient thermal behaviors of 3-D circuits, and show the effectiveness of heat management features. Our simulation results show that without any heat extraction feature, temperature for 3-D integrated circuits increased by almost 100K-200K. However, proposed heat extraction feature is very effective in heat management, reducing temperature from heated area by up to 53%.

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