Heat generation in integrated circuits

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The heat dissipation in integrated circuits problem has gained an increasing interest in recent years due to the miniaturization of semiconductor devices. The temperature increase becomes relevant for cases of relatively small-cross-sections wires, because such temperature increase may affect the normal behavior of semiconductor devices.

Joule Heating[edit]

Joule Heating is a predominant heat mechanism for heat generation in integrated circuits [1] and is an undesired effect.


The governing equation of the physics of the problem to be analyzed is the heat diffusion equation. It relates the flux of heat in space, its variation in time and the generation of power.

Where is the thermal conductivity, is the density of the medium, is the specific heat

the thermal diffusivity and is the rate of heat generation per unit volume. Heat diffuses from the source following equation ([eq:diffusion]) and solution in an homogeneous medium of ([eq:diffusion]) has a Gaussian distribution.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ T. Bechtold, E. V. Rudnyi and J. G Korvink, "Dynamic electro-thermal simulation of microsystems—a review," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. vol. 15, pp. R17–R31, 2005