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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Feature Article by Jeff Brandman AISMALIBAR NORTH AMERICA Heat has been a significant concern in elec- tronics since the beginning of the electronics age when hot glowing vacuum tubes were first used to receive and transmit data bits. e tran- sistor and integrated circuit effectively solved that basic problem, but increases in integra- tion resulted in increased concentration of heat, exacerbated by relentless increases in operating frequency. While improvements in electronics technology have been able to mit- igate many thermal issues at chip level thanks to improved semiconductor designs devised to operate at lower voltages (thus requiring less energy) the thermal management challenge continues to vex electronic product devel- opers. Moreover, with ever denser heteroge- neous integration solutions now being intro- duced, this is expected to remain a concern to Improved Thermal Interface Materials for Cooling High-Power Electronics be addressed for the foreseeable future. er- mal engineers have long known that thermal energy must ultimately be "returned to the air" but getting it there in an efficient way is of great importance. ey know also that there are but three basic ways of removing heat from a sys- tem: conduction, convection, and radiation; of these, conduction is by far the most efficient. In the manufacture of printed circuits, espe- cially those used in high power applications, the board itself becomes an obvious potential means of helping to remove heat. However, the choice must be made carefully to assure that it fits well into the scheme of traditional manufacturing, as the materials required must not only remove heat but must also maintain the high electrical insulation properties that are vitally important to printed circuit design-

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