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Taking heat out of the situation

How to keep your chip or system cool is becoming a hotly discussed topic. By Vanessa Knivett.

There is evidence that the march of progress in the semiconductor industry is being stalled by heat. Whilst chips are getting smaller and boards are becoming more compact, heat is on the increase.

Thermal management is therefore becoming a critical factor in the path to electronic innovation – so says Ravi Krishnan in his report for BCC entitled 'The market for Electronics Thermal Management Technologies.'

That is backed up by a report by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, which suggests that the ultra shallow junctions being produced in strained silicon, SiGe and silicon on insulator structures result in even more strongly reduced thermal budgets than current silicon technology.

Krishnan notes: "Management of the thermal properties of a system and designing an optimal solution to cater to modern power dissipation are the cornerstones of thermal management today." It's certainly something that is no longer an end of design issue.

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Graham Pitcher

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