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12 The PCB Magazine • March 2014 by Ian Mayoh Ventec europe limited F e a t u r e Continued and growing interest in cost-ef- fective thermal management of electronic devic- es and substrates, at component level, continues to drive the development of thermally conduc- tive printed circuits as a solution of choice. Insulated metal substrates (IMS) or metal core printed circuit boards, shortened to MCP- CB, or thermal management boards, are printed circuit boards built with a base metal core used to disperse heat through the components of the board, effectively lowering the core temperature of high heat applications. They are used when conventional heat-sink/fan-cooling techniques are insufficient for cooling the entire system or there are size/cost constraints. It is the intention here to review the cur- rent status of thermally conductive printed cir- cuit substrate options, in terms of performance, construction and processing, and future devel- opments. With particular reference to insulated metal cored substrates, the paper will explore the mechanical, thermal performance and cost considerations to be taken into account when selecting an appropriate IMS material for a par- ticular application, questions will be raised in terms of suitability for purpose and reliability considerations. Firstly, consider the current trends that con- tinue to be the driving force for more effective thermal management: • Miniaturization of MLB • Thermal performance • HDI • Embedded technology, within MLB • Flex and formable circuits • Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) thermally Conductive substrates & thermal Management

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