Once again, DARPA encourages private sector to innovate thermal management technologies

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the research and development arm of the Pentagon. It is responsible not only for some truly mind-blowing technological breakthroughs with both military and civilian applications, but also for facilitating private industry innovation and collaboration. In keeping with that tradition, DARPA has announced a formal solicitation for advanced thermal management technologies as part of a new initiative called ICECool.

The goal is to demonstrate innovative and efficient cooling techniques for “high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) and RF monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers with connective or evaporative microfluidic cooling built directly into the electronic devices and packaging.”

“Essentially, DARPA scientists want to make cooling just as important as any other aspect of chip design, and use embedded thermal management [technologies] to enhance the performance of military electronics,” according to an article in Military & Aerospace Electronics. “Integrating chips with convective or evaporative microfluidic cooling, DARPA officials say, has the potential to speed the evolution of advanced chip integration.”

As the news source points out, one significant hurdle manufacturers have faced in terms of thermal management of electronics is the size and weight of cooling subsystems. Advanced cooling techniques, including but not limited to ones that incorporate thermal management systems directly into chip architecture, are vital for the success of military and private industry initiatives.

With leading minds in both the government and private sector constantly searching for that next big breakthrough, the resulting innovations have the potential to revolutionize the way we build all manner of equipment and how it is put to use in a wide range of applications.

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