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PCBD-Dec2017

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40 The PCB Design Magazine • December 2017 a lot of confusion, particularly at the design stage, I believe. Goldman: Thermal management seems to en- compass a rather broad area. You must separate the parts. Goodwin: When we talk about thermal manage- ment, we're talking about getting the heat out of components, be that an LED chip, or be that an embedded 'whatever' in a multilayer circuit board. Goldman: Does this facili- tate embedding? Goodwin: Yes, the new materials do. Goldman: This is inter- esting. I hadn't really thought about embedded components before and I realize now it's a big deal if they're heat-produc- ing; that's an issue until you've got a thermally conductive material. Goodwin: Everything is running at increasingly higher frequencies as well, and high frequencies generate more heat and you've got to do something with it. We've got copper in there, which is good at getting rid of heat or transferring heat, but then you've got to get the heat from the component through the substrate to a heat sink or something to transfer the heat out of the build-up. So, it's a development. If you remember, the first IMS materials produced were made using a glass-re- inforced prepreg. They were just heavily cerami- cally loaded prepregs. Well, we've just taken that technology and made cores from those and improved the flow characteristics. When we first did this, there was just so much filler in these things—tons of pressure and very high heat rise was the only way to get these things to flow. We've improved that now. We can encapsulate up to three-ounce copper with these materials now. We've got some live projects on this, but again, a lot of it is driven by electronic vehicles, brake energy regeneration, and there are other applications as well. Goldman: Would you say automotive is the main driver right now? Goodwin: Oh, we're spending a lot of time at automotive shows and automotive electronic shows at the moment. That's the driver for us. I think it'll be bigger than LED and the reason is LED boards are generally very small. A powertrain board for an e-vehicle could easily be a three- square-foot panel or more. That's one circuit board instead of several hundred on that panel as with LED. And there are lots of cars, of course. Ev- ery announcement you see these days is either a government policy deci- sion on e-vehicles or hy- brid vehicles, or one of the big automotive com- panies saying that they're going to produce an elec- tric or a hybrid variant of every model they produce, or that by 2021 they're going to be all e-vehicles. Goldman: Yes, I read that. Goodwin: This is a market with double-digit compound average growth rates every year, so it's got to be interesting. Goldman: How does the push towards autono- mous driving play into this? Goodwin: I don't know that it works with ther- mal management, but what I do think is that it's where the core material and prepreg comes in because, now, the thermal issue is dealt with a thermal management PCB. But eventually, peo- ple are going to want to start putting logic onto THAT'S HOT: VENTEC'S GOODWIN ON THERMAL MANAGEMENT Mark Goodwin, Ventec.

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