Max Brooks, Chemical Engineer at GCI
As transistors shrink in accordance with Moore’s Law, thermal management of integrated circuits becomes an increasingly more complex challenge. Modern efforts to manage excessive heat production focus mainly on external cooling fixtures and package design. Thermal Management is particularly difficult for hermetically sealed packages on account of the large air cavity within the package, which acts as a thermal insulator between the heat producing layer of the semiconductor chip and the interior walls of the hermetic package.
GCI has begun the development of a thermally optimized hermetic package by encapsulating the die with a diamond filled epoxy, which boasts high thermal conductivity while maintaining electrically insulative properties. This diamond filled epoxy encapsulant creates a highly efficient pathway for heat to leave the package, reducing junction to ambient air thermal resistance and enhancing the intrinsic thermal properties of the package as a whole. This is especially useful for power devices that normally cannot be run at full capacity or need bulky cooling equipment for sustained operation. With a thermally optimized hermetic package, SWaP requirements are easier to meet in demanding environments that require high-reliability equipment.