Consumer Electronics

As a generalisation, the service life of a semi-conductor is halved by each 10ºC increase in semi-conductor temperature. This would not be an issue in consumer electronics, if performance was not often set at the top end of a specified operating range and components driven consistently to that extreme to maximise perceived value in the market.

A significant array of components used in consumer electronics potentially require cooling to achieve the required performance. These include field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), ball gate arrays (BGA), leadless chip connectors (LCC and Ceramic LCC), quad flat package (QFP, Low profile QFP and Thin QFP).

The Twin Challenges of Consumer Electronics Thermal Management

New technologies and products are increasing the demands on the thermal management of consumer electronics products. Product designers are caught between ever-decreasing package sizes and ever-increasing overall power consumption so that more heat needs to be dissipated within more constrained areas.

These challenges are exacerbated by the current trend towards the removal of fans as they are the component most likely to fail and the cause of noise. This has led to an increase in
the number of passive cooled components and the rise of low profile heat sinks using forced and unforced air.

It is estimated that the average TV now has at least 3 heat sinks to deal with the thermal demand. Unsurprisingly some of the main TV manufacturers have identified that thermal issues are the main barrier to providing the technologies that consumers demand.

All consumer electronics heat sinks are not the same

The stated thermal resistance from junction to case of the semiconductor device is key to determining which thermal management device is appropriate. For heat sinks this is often stated as ºC/W where a lower value is a more effective heat sink in dissipating heat to the surrounding air.

But the stated thermal resistance will vary with the device being cooled and with the method by which the thermal resistance is established. While VTL can do little about the former apart from awareness; we always ensure that our products are tested in realistic environments for the purposes they are intended.

To check out the performance of the Versarien range of standard heat sinks for consumer electronics review our datasheet [link datasheet]. To buy either go our main distributor Mouser or contact our sales team. For all other enquiries please contact the information team

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