Modern computer processors generate a heat output per square centimetre similar to a household cooker surface. Tungsten-copper heat sinks and the processor fan remove the heat. They possess both high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansion as close as possible to that of the Si- and GaAs-semiconductors as well as the packaging materials. Heat sinks are also used as base plates for IC packages, in optoelectronics or microwave applications.
Tungsten is among the most important components in modern integrated circuitry. All advanced chips rely on tungsten contacts (vias, plugs) to connect the transistors and the interconnecting layers. The whole story of Tungsten in Integrated Circuits can be found in the December 2003 Newsletter.