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9 May 2008


TEC module for high heat-flux requirements in small opto packages

Nextreme Thermal Solutions of Durham, NC, USA, which manufactures thermal and power management products, has launched the latest module in its OptoCooler family of thermoelectric coolers (TECs) designed for the photonics industry.

The OptoCooler UPF40 thin-film thermoelectric cooler module is designed for optoelectronic applications with high heat-flux requirements, and is suited to the cooling and temperature control of devices such as semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA) and laser diodes.

The UPF40 can pump a heat density of up to 72W/cm² at 25°C and, as a result, can move a maximum of 3.7W of heat with an active footprint of just 5.1mm². “The new OptoCooler UPF40 module operates with heat fluxes 4 to 5 times greater than conventional thermoelectric coolers,” reckons VP of engineering Dave Koester. “In addition, the module’s extremely small footprint opens up new thermal management capabilities in electronics that were previously unavailable.”

With Nextreme’s thin-film thermal bump technology at its core, the UPF40 module can be integrated directly into electronic packaging to deliver cooling for a wide variety of thermal management applications (e.g. embedding in an SOA package to maintain proper operating conditions). SOAs are used in high-speed photonic networks to restore degraded optical signals to their original quality without converting them into electronic signals.

Nextreme’s thin-film thermoelectric products are manufactured in volume with the thermal copper pillar bump process, an established electronic packaging approach that scales well into large arrays. The process integrates thin-film thermoelectric material into the solder bumped interconnects that provide mechanical and electrical connections for high-performance/high-density ICs. Unlike conventional solder bumps, thermal bumps function as solid-state heat pumps on the microscale. The stack-up of a thermal bump, including the thin-film material, solder and electrical traces, is only 100 microns high and has a diameter of 238 microns. The thermal bumping process can be implemented at the, package or wafer-level, and is currently used to fabricate Nextreme’s discrete modules.

See related items:

Nextreme embeds thin-film optocooler into LED & laser packages

Nextreme launches OptoCooler thermoelectric module

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