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John O | September 2017

Embedded heat pipes improve thermal management in PCB

at&s, a company headquartered in austria that is on the forefront of printed circuit board (pcb) technology, has announced that it is using embedded and inserted miniature heat pipes to provide thermal management for pcb designs and protect components from overheating.


at&s embeds heat pipes into the layers of the pcb. (at&s)


the company has turned to heat pipes because, unlike adding more copper layers to the pcb design, they add little weight to the overall design and are more cost-effective than additional copper. also, as miniaturization continues in electronics packaging, etching fine interconnects into copper layers would be increasingly difficult.


“modern heat pipes are small enough to be incorporated to pcb constructions,” the announcement explained. “their thickness can range from about 400 µm up to 2 mm. at&s uses its know-how in embedding components and in 2.5d technology in order to associate mini heat pipes with the pcb. the application of heat pipes directly in the pcb body allows new design freedom such as remote cooling, heat guiding and heat spreading.”


at&s has a novel approach of using “ready-use” heat pipes in building the layers of the pcb, turning the pcb design into a thermal management module.


“in all experiments, the hp-pcb (embedded heat pipes) concept helped increasing the system’s overall thermal performance in comparison with current technologies,” at&s insisted. “this technology is considered a thermal solution to virtually any electronic application where enhanced heat spreading or heat guiding is required. potential in applications are specially found where weight and space are restrictive.”


the company is now looking for partners that are willing to test the hp-pcb concept.

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