Analog and mixed signal design: Thermal management of device dissipation

More and more thermal management is required for current analog devices as power dissipation levels climb. In some devices such as power amplifiers, LED drivers, DC – DC converters and other higher power devices, the problem is so obvious as to sometimes burn one ( and not just metaphorically speaking) in a significant manner. The demonstration of the Dell laptop which burst into flame not so very long ago was a vivid demonstration of what we as design engineers have to live with. Its not just the power devices that need thermal management. A cooler device will run better in many environents so even lower power devices need thermal management. A PCB with various power level devices mounted on it needs thermal management. In spite of these reasons thermal management is not as well understood as one would expect. This post is an attempt to bring attention to, and provide some useful information for thermal management. In a recent report released by Signal Processing Group Inc, to be found at, information and resources can be found by interested parties. Please go>engineer’s corner and access the thermal management articles.

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