For those who believe in the therapeutic power of copper--at least for thermal ailments--the Cooling Zone Summit was the place to be; here's why:
Nearly every engineer worries system power consumption and availability. Many of these engineers also have to worry about the inevitable consequence of this consumption: dissipation. That means cooling and thermal management issues which you can deal with anytime from the design phase (good) to qualification phase (bad) or in the field (very bad).
At the 11th International Business and Technology "Cooling Zone Summit" in Cambridge MA, several hundred engineers and academics studied the topic in all of its aspects. Tutorials covered all aspects of thermal management of electronics: analysis, modeling, simulation, fluid flow and analysis, corroborated and supported by the latest in advanced measurement techniques, as well as actual cooling components, subsystems, and systems, see here.
If your cooling knowledge includes only the basics such as heat sinks, heat pipes, cold plates, and fans, there's much more out there or coming soon, including adaptive cooling, on-chip liquid cooling, high-power LED challenges, active cooling systems of various technologies (air and liquid), and more. Speakers discussed present-day challenges as well as some previews of what the trend is for the next few years (hint: it's going to get more difficult from chip to chassis, and dissipation levels increase dramatically without much relief).
Attendees received a hard-copy book with most of the presentation slides, for note-taking and take-away inspiration. The vendor exhibit area was modest, to be euphemistic. But the hands-on, see-it-here aspects solidified the lessons of the technical sessions, and re-affirmed the harsh reality of thermal management. Global warming may be in dispute, but IC, circuit, and chassis warming is not.
Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. exhibit
Degree Controls, Inc. exhibit