Elevating CPU Cooler Efficiency by 55%: AM & Generative Design | Diabatix

October 9, 2023
Sarah da Silva Andrade

The development of more efficient CPU coolers has allowed for new possibilities in maximizing the performance of computer systems. Diabatix has been carrying significant advancements combining generative design with additive manufacturing (AM) to create a CPU cooler that not only meets but exceeds the performance of traditional models, such as skived fins heat sinks.

Optimize Thermal Efficiency: Exploring the Future of CPU Cooling with Generative Design

When we talk about CPU coolers, having a design that can effectively manage temperatures and ensure even heat distribution on the chip is crucial. In our case study, we compared a regular skived fin heat sink with a generative-designed CPU cooler. The cooler is envisioned to be manufacturable with the 3D printing technology called Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) while utilizing copper with exceptional thermal properties.

Skived fin heat sink vs. generative-designed heat sink

The traditional model used is the skived heatsink of the Corsair ICUE H100i Elite Capellix liquid CPU cooler, which displays a maximum temperature of 76.1 °C and cools down the system to 43.0 °C,  with a temperature variance of 124.6 K^2. But is it possible to achieve better performance and how?

Generative Design: The Forefront of Innovation

The heart of our technology is generative design, a method that uses algorithms and AI to explore design solutions to a given problem, navigating to alternatives that are often beyond human-driven designs.

For the case study, we used ColdStream, our cloud-based proprietary platform, to address the thermal analysis and design the CPU cooler. The final generative design greatly reduced the temperature of the CPU component, ranging now from 50.3 °C to 56.4 °C, and exhibited a temperature variance of just 2.4 K^2.

Temperature field (top and bottom view) in °C of the skived fin and the generative design heat sinks

Additive Manufacturing: Realizing Complex Geometries

The final generative design was brought to life using AM, which allowed for the generation of complex shapes and forms that cannot be achieved through traditional manufacturing methods. It respected the 3D printing requirements and, with a printing minimal resolution of 0.28 mm, was successfully manufactured by Amnovis, utilizing their proprietary powders and patented production method for copper 3D printing.

Want to know more? Read our paper here!

Outcome: Effortless Improvement in Cooling

The generative design heat sink, compared to the traditional model, showcased:

  • A 55% lower thermal resistance.
  • Enhanced temperature variance, ensuring more uniform thermal degradation across the chip.

This not only demonstrates significant progress towards efficient cooling but also highlights the potential of generative design and additive manufacturing hold in redefining the standards of thermal solutions in the technology sector.

Back view of the generative-designed CPU cooler

Redefining Thermal Management with Generative Design

Diabatix keeps pushing boundaries, showing that combining generative design and additive manufacturing can produce solutions that are not only on par with but even better than the existing traditional models. The thermal resistance improvement of 55% in the generative design CPU cooler is proof of the game-changing potential of these technologies.

Engage with the Future

We invite you to join us as we explore the intersection of generative design and additive manufacturing. Let's create a future where every design is optimized, and every piece of technology performs at its peak – consistently and sustainably.

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