Nextreme announces new thermoelectric laser cooler

January 17, 2008, Durham, NC--Nextreme Thermal Solutions has announced the availability of a new thermoelectric module--the Ultra-High Packing Fraction (UPF) OptoCooler module.

January 17, 2008, Durham, NC--Nextreme Thermal Solutions has announced the availability of a new thermoelectric module--the Ultra-High Packing Fraction (UPF) OptoCooler module--that addresses the latest cooling and temperature control requirements for optoelectronics, electronics, medical, military, and aerospace applications. The new module has been optimized for laser diode, LED, and advanced sensor products.

The UPF OptoCooler removes a maximum of 420 mW of heat at 25°C ambient in an active footprint of only 0.55 mm2. As a result, the module can pump a heat density up to 78 W/cm2. At 85°C, these values increase to 610 mW and 112 W/cm2, respectively. The module was developed in response to market demand for microscale cooling solutions that improve the performance of electronics without sacrificing efficiency.

With Nextreme's thin-film thermal-bump technology at its core, the OptoCooler can be integrated directly into electronic and optoelectronic packaging to deliver more than 45°C of cooling for a wide variety of thermal management applications. For example, the module can be embedded within laser diode packages--devices that illuminate telecom fiber-optic cables--to control temperatures and maintain proper operating conditions for optimal performance. In addition, the module's ultra-fast, millisecond response time and broad temperature range capabilities can improve performance of the thermal cycling processes in a host of applications.

"The OptoCooler module is the industry's first thermoelectric device to offer a heat pumping density in excess of 70 W/cm2, a ten-fold increase in heat pumping capacity over conventional TEC modules," said Dave Koester, vice president of engineering at Nextreme. "This is a major breakthrough. For example, this development enables direct cooling of a laser diode on a scale that is similar to the diode itself. This significantly improves efficiency and offers new, integrated packaging options that were previously unavailable."

The UPF OptoCooler module serves as Nextreme's unit building block for all discrete products in the future. It is manufactured in high volume with Nextreme's Thermal Copper Pillar Bump process, which is based on an established electronic packaging approach that scales well into large arrays. The Thermal Copper Pillar Bump process integrates thin-film thermoelectric material into the solder-bumped interconnects that traditionally provide mechanical and electrical functionalities in high performance/high density integrated circuits. Unlike conventional solder bumps, Nextreme's bumps function as solid-state heat pumps on a microscale. The thermal bumping process can be implemented at the system-level, package-level, or wafer-level, and also in discrete modules as demonstrated by the OptoCooler.

OptoCooler modules are available now and can be purchased for $12 in unit volumes of 1000s. Pricing for smaller or larger volumes are available upon request.

Nextreme will be demonstrating the OptoCooler at the Photonics West conference, January 22-24, 2008, in booth #6328 at the San Jose Convention Center, South Hall 1.

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