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10 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Like many of our magazine topics, this month's theme came about as a result of an I-Connect007 survey. We recently asked PCB designers to dis- cuss the challenges they're facing, and quite a few nominated thermal management. Veteran PCB designers with no experience in thermal matters now find themselves trying to "beat the heat." Unfortunately, there are few- er educational and training resources dedicat- ed to thermal design processes than for, say, signal integrity. This isn't surprising, given the history of thermal management. For much of the histo- ry of the PCB, thermal management hasn't ex- actly been top of mind for designers and de- sign engineers. There were always more press- ing issues that needed to be addressed, such as signal integrity and DFM. The percentage of boards with thermal issues was fairly low; if your company's boards had potential hot spots, you probably had a "thermal person" on your team already. But with the growth of electric and autono- mous vehicles—along with telecom, military, and aerospace, not to mention the explosion of LEDs—thermal management and thermal de- sign processes are becoming mainstream. Are you going to be the "thermal person" on your team? As we learned from conversations with this month's contributors, there's no simple ap- proach; battling the heat is a multi-pronged ef- fort. Fortunately, technologists now have ac- cess to computational fluid dynamics software tools that can eliminate some of the guess- work, and specially formulated thermal lami- nates that are designed to dissipate heat even- ly. Heat sinks and cooling fans are no longer automatic go-to responses to thermal issues. Technology is catching up with the indus- try's thermal requirements. But, as Dr. Jo- hannes Adam explains this month, "There is no panacea." There is still no substitute for un- derstanding the fundamentals of heat dissipa- The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Thermal Management Is a Multi-Pronged Effort

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