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Microfluidic System Protocols for Integrated On-Chip Communications and Cooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2417 - 2429
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The advancements in multi-core central processing units have attracted new designs ranging from mechanisms of packing higher number of transistors into the small space, new techniques for communications (e.g., wireless network on chips), or new methodologies for cooling the chip. The latter two design aspects are the focus of this paper, where a microfluidic system is utilized for performing both functions. The miniaturization of microfluidic channels makes it attractive to embed them into the chips to transport fluids that can remove the heat from the processor cores. The extension of the cooling purpose of on-chip microfluidic channels is done by integrating communication feature. The communication process is achieved by transporting fluid through the channel and injecting information through air droplets. Protocols for microfluidic communications are applied, including physical layer functionalities and medium access protocols. The protocol design takes into considerations various properties of the microfludics. Based on the proposed system, the tradeoffs between the data rate and its impact on the amount of heat that can be removed from the processor are evaluated. This system provides new forms of condensed processor design of the future, in which integration of multiple functionalities of microfluidic channel system embedded into multi-core processors.

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