Tag Archives: heat sink attach

ATS Releases Mobile Heat Sink Design Tool for Android

We’ve just released our FIRST mobile application for Android! Our Heat Sink Design Tool is ready for you to download now from the Android Application store. The application will enable users to design a heat sink on their Android equipped mobile device for cooling of their electronic devices. After the design, the user can select to search available databases to see such a product exists. The app is 1.0M in size and requires Android 1.6 or higher. Get yours now for free by clicking to Heat Sink Design Tool on Android

Use cases include:

  • Consultants: Are you on premise with your client? Once you understand your needs for a heat sink, use our heat sink design tool to get a product fast.
  • Field Engineers: If your in the field, taking notes on what heat sink to use might be impractical. Use our heat sink design application to punch in the parameters for a heat sink and get it done right there.
  • Students: If your in the lab working on your next project, why not use our convenient application on your Android device to get our project that much quicker to completion

You say you use an iPhone? Well, we have an App for that too! Apple iPhone Heat Sink Design App

How to Apply Thermal Interface Material: Thermal Grease

In another video from our lab, Greg, an ATS thermal engineer, demonstrates the sometimes tricky application of thermal grease.  Thermal grease is among the best TIM conductors, but, it’s messy! Check Greg’s careful application for how to do it:

Why Temperature is Critical in Thermal Management

Last week in this series on How to Select a Heat Sink for an OEM Project, we talked about why thermal management is a challenge to design for. This week we want to talk about why temperature is critical in Thermal Management.

The fact that temperature is critical in thermal management would seem self-evident, but, as with many things in thermal management, there’s more here than meets the eyes.

Power dissipation from electronics is on the rise, and so is its consequence on temperature. As a result, accurate temperature measurement is playing a larger role in the successful launch of new products.

Figure 1 shows a typical flow chart for a products design cycle [1]. Thermal engineering is required in three distinct areas: Concept, Prototype, and Verification.

The Role of Thermal Management in the Product Design Cycle

At the Concept level, thermal analysis is performed to ascertain the design feasibility and move the product to the Prototype stage. Here, the product is assembled and temperature measurements are taken to ensure the design meets the intended specs while there is a level of system functionality. If the design passes this stage, the product is fabricated. Then, the fully-functional system is checked for adherence to its intended design features while it is stressed at elevated temperatures. This is part of the Verification stage.

At all three stages, accurate knowledge of temperature is needed to ensure the system meets expected performance levels. An engineer designing an MRI system certainly wouldn’t want to include non-existing, extra features in the digital image as a result of excess temperature. Nor, by analogy, would someone transferring funds in a bank transaction want their electronics to place extra zeros in the transfer amount because of temperature overshoots in the system.

Equally important is the expected life of an electronics system. Every company wants to ensure that its products will successfully function in their intended environment. And every company wants their products to be first on the market. To support these goals, a fair amount of reliability calculations must be performed.

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How to Select a Heat Sink: Why Thermal Management is a Challenge

Today we are kicking off a series of articles on how to select a heat sink for an OEM project. The principles are the same for overclockers building their own systems with one difference. In OEM projects, mechanical engineers usually (but not always) have a chance to simulate the design before hand and suggest changes to chassis and layout to help with airflow.

So, let’s get started with some basics. First, why is thermal management a challenge? There’s a few reasons and many of these are only getting worse if you consider them from the world of thermal engineering.

First on our list is higher frequency circuits. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors notes that, “projected power density and junction-to-ambient thermal resistance for high-performance chips at the 14 nm generation are >100 W/cm2 and <0.2°C/W, respectively.” In other words, semiconductors are simply getting hotter as their clock speeds are increased.

Second, generally, semiconductors are being assembled into smaller packages. The packages are smaller, the circuits are denser and this combination means that they are warmer.

Third on our list of why thermal management is a (growing) challenge is low acoustic noise requirements. End users don’t want to be deaf just for using electronics. The result is many specifications that set a reasonable acoustic range for their equipment, often in the 100LFM to 400LFM range. This relatively low airflow is great for end users but creates a real challenge for mechanical engineers and systems integrators trying to create a solid system that meets end users needs and still operates at its optimal levels.

Fourth, circuit designers determine component placement. On the surface of this, this is how it should be. Electrical engineers have alot of pressure on them to reduce board latency and design for performance. While they often consider the thermal needs of the systems and circuits, it’s not their primary design point. For mechanical engineers that is what we do and so our challenge is the balancing act of working with EE’s to insure great placement, but also great airflow.

Fifth and finally, thermal management is a challenge because EMI shielding. Higher frequency components require better shielding and that shielding can restrict airflow.

When we pick this topic up next, we’ll cover why temperature is so important to manage. If you have any questions in the mean time about heat sinks or thermal management, contact us and lets see how can make your next project a success! Email us at ATS thermal engineersats-hq@qats.com , call us at 781-769-2800 or visit our heat sink catalog at qats.com


Free White Paper on Air/Liquid Cooling for Checking out ATS’s Big Green Button

Today we are excited to announce our new heat sink request tool on qats.com Just click on any Big Green Button like this one, anywhere you see it, to bring you to our new tool:

Heat Sink Request Tool Big Green Button
EVERY heat sink on our site is now proudly sporting our new  Big Green Button with good reason.  ATS’s team wants to make sure finding your best heat sink is as easy as possible, even for your most challenging thermal management application.

When you click on our Big Green Button, you’ll be brought to the tool. On it, you’ll see a web form:

ATS Heat Sink Request Tool

The form helps guide you through a typical question process to determine key requirements necessary to get you the right heat sink. These include important facts such as:

  1. Heat Sink height, length and width
  2. System Airflow velocity
  3. The air temperature
  4. Power dissipation of the target semiconductor
  5. Desired device temperature
  6. Name, company and email

Just a few short questions and we’ll get  you going with a heat sink good for your application or at a minimum as a starting point for your research.

AND if you click on our Big Green Button to check out our new heat sink request tool we’ll send you a free white paper, “Air/Liquid Cooling”. This paper is filled with valuable information on the integration of air and liquid cooling and how to know when it’s time to make the switch.