With the increase in heat dissipation from microelectronic devices and the reduction in overall form factors,
thermal management becomes a more and more important element of electronic product design. Both the performance
reliability and life expectancy of electronic equipment are inversely related to the component temperature of
the equipment. The relationship between the reliability y and the operating temperature of a typical silicon
semiconductor device shows that a reduction in the temperature corresponds to an exponential increase in the
reliability and life expectancy of the device. Therefore, long life and reliable performance of a component may
be achieved by effectively controlling the device operating temperature within the limits set by the device design
What Are Heat Sinks?
Heat sinks are devices that enhance heat dissipation from a hot surface, usually the case of a heat generating
component, to a cooler ambient, usually air. For the following discussions, air is assumed to be the cooling
fluid. In most situations, heat transfer across the interface between the solid surface and the coolant air is
the lead efficient within the system, and the solid-air interface represents the greatest barrier for heat dissipation.
A heat sink lowers this barrier mainly by increasing the surface area that is in direct contact with the coolant.
This allows more heat to be dissipated and/or lowers the device operating temperature. The primary purpose of
a heat sink is to maintain the device temperature below the maximum allowable temperature specified by the device
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