ECE 565
Energy Dissipation Electronics

Displaying course information from Fall 2011.

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
F LEC 1400 - 1520 T R   143 Everitt Lab  Eric Pop
Official Description Power dissipation in modern electronics, from fundamentals to system-level issues. Energy transfer through electrons and phonons, mobility and thermal conductivity, power dissipation in modern devices (CMOS, memory, nanowires, nanotubes), circuit leakage, thermal breakdown, interconnects, thermometry, heat sinks. Handouts are supplemented with papers from the research literature, Wikipedia assignments, a final conference-type group paper, and oral presentations required. Course Information: Prerequisite: ECE 441.
Subject Area Microelectronics and Photonics
Course Prerequisites Credit in ECE 441
Course Directors Eric Pop
Detailed Description and Outline


  • Introduction: Why Power Matters in Nano-Electronics
  • Electronics Overview from Silicon to Package
  • The Microscopic Origin of Macroscopic Laws:
    • Electrons and Ohm’s Law
    • Phonons and Fourier’s Law
    • The Wiedemann-Franz Relationship
    • Mobility and Thermal Conductivity
    • Conductance Quantum, Breakdown of Classical Laws
  • Low-Dimensional and Boundary effects
    • Energy Transport in Thin Films, Nanowires, Nanotubes
    • Electrical and Thermal Contacts
    • Materials Thermometry
  • Power in Electronic Devices
    • Fundamentals of Power Dissipation
    • Power Dissipation in Nanoscale Devices
    • Temperature Dependence of Device Behavior
    • Thermal Data Storage Devices
    • Device Thermometry
    • MIDTERM In-Class Presentations
  • Power in Integrated Circuits
    • Circuit View of Leakage
    • Power in Interconnects
    • Power and Energy Minimization Approaches
    • Thermal Breakdown, Electromigration, Fuses
  • Power in Electronic Systems
    • Macroscopic View of Heat Conduction
    • Useful Approximation: Shape Factors, Diffusion and Healing Lengths
    • Numerical Solution Heat Conduction
    • Heat Sinks, Thermal Interface Materials
    • Liquid and Solid Cooling Solutions (Peltier)
  • Power and Architecture
  • FINAL In-Class Presentations

Grading: Homeworks, including Wikipedia assignments (50%). Midterm, one-page conference abstracts with short (3-5 minute) in-class pitch (10%). Final, group research paper with 15 minute in-class presentation and 3-4 page journal-style write-up (40%).

Topical Prerequisities
Basic knowledge of solid-state physics, transistor operation, and familiarity with Matlab (or equivalents).

No textbook covers all topics. The class relies on handouts, slides, papers from the literature, and sections from several books including Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion by G. Chen (Oxford, 2004) and Low-power CMOS VLSI circuit design by K. Roy and S. Prasad (Wiley, 2000). These are both on reserve from the instructor. In addition, two related textbooks are fully available online:

A Heat Transfer Textbook by J. H. Lienhard
Principles of Semiconductor Devices by B. Van Zeghbroek

Last updated: 2/13/2013