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Hot stuff

Thermal modelling is growing in importance as boards become more complex.

Smaller products, hotter components and changes in manufacturing requirements are conspiring to keep pcb designers on their toes. As more heat is generated, designers run the risk of component failure or, with the latest lead replacement solders, loss of connectivity.
The latest thermal management software is helping pcb designers identify board level problems well in advance of potential board level component failures due to poorly managed thermal performance during operation.
Whilst guesstimates can be used, they don’t always provide accurate enough information for possible trade offs to be evaluated properly. Thermal simulation is about the prediction of the thermal response of a design using numerical computational techniques. This makes it possible to achieve the desired performance without introducing any additional design or manufacturing costs.
Not only can designers tap into sophisticated thermal modelling programs, they can also address the thermal performance of particular types of device.

Graham Pitcher & Mike Richardson

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