A phase change material (PCM) is used as thermal interface material (TIM) to mount a heat sink or cold plate on an electronic chip. The TIM can improve thermal conductivity and heat dissipation between the semiconductor chip and heat sinks. In the manufacturing process, the PCM is heated right after heat sink/cold plate installation during which it undergoes melting or softening, effectively filling the air gaps between the chip and the surface of the heat sink or cold plate. The heating of the PCM can be performed using passive heating or active heating, which requires wasteful heating of the entire product or powering the chip on to bring the PCM at desired melting temperature which can take a long time. It also may not be possible to reach the highest achievable PCM temperature without overheating the chip. This disclosure describes techniques to heat the phase change material (PCM) without activating the chip or requiring the entire product to be heated in a chamber. The techniques described involve embedding a heater on a heat sink/ cold plate with an external heater connector that provides the power input to reach the necessary temperature for the PCM heating. A temperature sensor is embedded inside the base of the heat sink/ cold plate to monitor the temperature of PCM during the heating process.

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