Thermal Management Blog Posts

Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines (More Advanced)

Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines (More Advanced)

This article is intended as a follow-on to a couple of posts we made in the past about using vapor chambers rather than heat pipes.  If you haven’t read those and are not familiar with designing with vapor chambers, we suggest you reference this links before...

read more
Heat Pipes 101

Heat Pipes 101

The Importance of Heat Pipes & Vapor Chambers Heat pipes and vapor chambers are used to increase the thermal performance of heat sinks that would otherwise use only a solid metal base and fins. This is possible because their effective thermal conductivity is, in...

read more
Heat Pipe & Vapor Chamber Design Oddities

Heat Pipe & Vapor Chamber Design Oddities

You’ve seen thousands of standard heat pipe based thermal solutions, along with their planer two-phase counterparts, so it’s always nice to see some design oddities thrown into the mix. I won’t be focusing on the specifics of the application or perhaps even the...

read more
Think Heat Pipes Are The Answer? Think Again!

Think Heat Pipes Are The Answer? Think Again!

While heat pipes are a common choice for difficult to cool electronics, they sometimes fall a bit short when trying to deliver a heat sink with the lowest possible thermal resistance. “If only we could eke out another 5 or 10 oC from our heat pipe design”, is...

read more
How to Use Heat Pipe Performance Calculator

How to Use Heat Pipe Performance Calculator

This calculator provides three pieces of information based on heat pipe dimensions and operating temperature: the effective thermal conductivity for use in CFD modeling, maximum power handling (Qmax) based on the angle of operation, and possible heat pipe alternatives...

read more
How to Use the Heat Sink Performance Calculator

How to Use the Heat Sink Performance Calculator

This calculator compares the heat rise (delta-T) of two competing heat sinks: one with a solid metal base and one with a vapor chamber base. Since fin packs (zipper fins) are often used with two-phase devices, they will be used - rather than extruded, machined,...

read more
How to Use the Heat Sink Sizing Calculator

How to Use the Heat Sink Sizing Calculator

With the exception of choosing the correct "volumetric thermal resistance”, this is probably our most straight forward calculator. Remember, use it only for the early stages of heat sink design. But, in our experience, it’s pretty darn accurate. Here's a link to the...

read more
Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines

Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines

This blog post offers some intermediate level vapor chamber heat sink design guidance for the most prevalent types of electronics applications: CPU/ASIC to amplifier applications with power ranging from around 20-250 watts, power densities greater than 20 W/cm2, and...

read more
Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 2)

Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 2)

Now that we’ve determined which heat pipes can effectively carry the required heat load (Pt 1), we need to ensure we select and size the heat exchanger to dissipate the heat into the surrounding air -based on available air flow. As mentioned in the prior post, this...

read more
Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 1)

Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 1)

This blog post offers some intermediate level heat pipe design guidance for the most prevalent types of electronics applications: mobile to embedded computing and server type applications with power ranging from 15-150 watts using processor die sizes of between...

read more
Vapor Chamber Quick Calculations – Do I Need One?

Vapor Chamber Quick Calculations – Do I Need One?

In this blog, I’d like to take you through the early steps I take when determining if a two-phase device, specifically a vapor chamber, might be needed as part of the thermal solution. I’ll eventually do a complementary piece on heat pipes, but in the interest of...

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Thermosyphons for Electronics Cooling

Thermosyphons for Electronics Cooling

This blog is written to give engineers a basic understanding of an often forgotten, but still relevant two-phase cooling solution – thermosyphons. Recently, I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. A fabulous place that’s steeped in the kind of history that...

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Fundamentals of Thermal Resistance

Fundamentals of Thermal Resistance

Today’s guest blog on the fundamentals of thermal resistance is from Dr. James Stevens, Professor Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado. Dr. Stevens specializes in numerical and analytical heat transfer analysis covering both steady-state...

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Understanding 3D Vertical Vapor Chambers

Understanding 3D Vertical Vapor Chambers

Until the mid-2000’s heat pipes were really the only option when designing a high heat-flux heat sink whose condenser was oriented vertically above a horizontal heat source. That’s because they’re easily bent post-production into a variety of shapes including “L” or...

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Heat Pipe Reliability – What You Know is Wrong!

Heat Pipe Reliability – What You Know is Wrong!

Last week I gave an IMAPS presentation on heat pipe reliability with Ross Wilcoxon from Rockwell Collins. Thought I'd give you the highlights in graphical form along with some comments. Product reliability is determined by understanding the reliability metrics for...

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Dust Bunnies are Choking Heat Sinks to Death

Dust Bunnies are Choking Heat Sinks to Death

My current notebook is about 18 months old and had been running slower and slower for a few months. It was also noticeably hotter causing the fan to run almost continuously. I knew it was that time. About every year and a half I have to take apart my PC to clean out...

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Guidelines for Circular Heat Pipe Thermal Testing

Guidelines for Circular Heat Pipe Thermal Testing

For today's blog I'd like to present some work several of my colleagues and I have been working on for submittal to the fall session of the JEDEC Committee: Guidelines for Heat Pipe Thermal Test Set for Testing of Circular Heat Pipes. As we're always open to comments...

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Thermal Test Chips – A Quick Explanation

Thermal Test Chips – A Quick Explanation

To meet aggressive product time-to-market goals, electrical and mechanical engineers need to work concurrently to envision, model and validate an enormous array of interdependent system requirements. While there’s no doubt that robust thermal modeling of both the...

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Understand System Level Thermal Resistance

Understand System Level Thermal Resistance

From George, CEO Celsia: Today's post on understanding thermal resistance is from Dr. Ross Wilcoxon, a thermal management veteran working for Rockwell Collins as a research and development engineer. He specializes in mechanical packaging of electronics...

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Vapor Chambers & Heat Pipes Cool Performance FBDIMMs

Vapor Chambers & Heat Pipes Cool Performance FBDIMMs

In a recent post, I talked about the use of fans and micro-thin heat pipes to cool smartphones. Today, I’d like to take you through a project Celsia tackled a number of years ago; cooling performance DDR3 ‘gamer’ memory modules using ultra-thin vapor chambers. This...

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Every Electronic Device Is Water Cooled ….. Indirectly

Every Electronic Device Is Water Cooled ….. Indirectly

Computers, ovens, and even light bulbs rely on water cooling to function; nearly 200 billion gallons a day in the US alone, most of it is fresh water. Some of it, roughly 4 billion gallons, evaporates into thin air each day. In today’s guest blog, Dr. Pablo Hidalgo –...

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Using Fans and Heat Pipes to Cool Smartphones

Using Fans and Heat Pipes to Cool Smartphones

I recently read an interesting article that explored the practical reasons behind the use of different materials for smartphone enclosures: polycarbonate, glass, and metal. They included tactile preferences, radio attenuation, and surprisingly, thermal conductivity....

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Integrating Vapor Chambers into Heatsinks

Integrating Vapor Chambers into Heatsinks

Often in high power density or low profile heat sink applications, the spreading resistances in the base of the heat sink limits the performance of the design. Once it is determined that normal heat sink materials, aluminum or copper, are either insufficient or too...

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Discover a Low Cost Vapor Chamber Heat Sink

Discover a Low Cost Vapor Chamber Heat Sink

Welcome to the launch of our redesigned website and thanks for visiting. As this is our first blog, I thought I’d give you an overview of who we are, what we do and how we came to do it - with a bit more personal flavor than the rest of the site. The short of it is –...

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Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines (More Advanced)

Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines (More Advanced)

This article is intended as a follow-on to a couple of posts we made in the past about using vapor chambers rather than heat pipes.  If you haven’t read those and are not familiar with designing with vapor chambers, we suggest you reference this links before...

read more
Heat Pipes 101

Heat Pipes 101

The Importance of Heat Pipes & Vapor Chambers Heat pipes and vapor chambers are used to increase the thermal performance of heat sinks that would otherwise use only a solid metal base and fins. This is possible because their effective thermal conductivity is, in...

read more
Heat Pipe & Vapor Chamber Design Oddities

Heat Pipe & Vapor Chamber Design Oddities

You’ve seen thousands of standard heat pipe based thermal solutions, along with their planer two-phase counterparts, so it’s always nice to see some design oddities thrown into the mix. I won’t be focusing on the specifics of the application or perhaps even the...

read more
Think Heat Pipes Are The Answer? Think Again!

Think Heat Pipes Are The Answer? Think Again!

While heat pipes are a common choice for difficult to cool electronics, they sometimes fall a bit short when trying to deliver a heat sink with the lowest possible thermal resistance. “If only we could eke out another 5 or 10 oC from our heat pipe design”, is...

read more
How to Use Heat Pipe Performance Calculator

How to Use Heat Pipe Performance Calculator

This calculator provides three pieces of information based on heat pipe dimensions and operating temperature: the effective thermal conductivity for use in CFD modeling, maximum power handling (Qmax) based on the angle of operation, and possible heat pipe alternatives...

read more
How to Use the Heat Sink Performance Calculator

How to Use the Heat Sink Performance Calculator

This calculator compares the heat rise (delta-T) of two competing heat sinks: one with a solid metal base and one with a vapor chamber base. Since fin packs (zipper fins) are often used with two-phase devices, they will be used - rather than extruded, machined,...

read more
How to Use the Heat Sink Sizing Calculator

How to Use the Heat Sink Sizing Calculator

With the exception of choosing the correct "volumetric thermal resistance”, this is probably our most straight forward calculator. Remember, use it only for the early stages of heat sink design. But, in our experience, it’s pretty darn accurate. Here's a link to the...

read more
Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines

Vapor Chamber Heat Sink Design Guidelines

This blog post offers some intermediate level vapor chamber heat sink design guidance for the most prevalent types of electronics applications: CPU/ASIC to amplifier applications with power ranging from around 20-250 watts, power densities greater than 20 W/cm2, and...

read more
Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 2)

Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 2)

Now that we’ve determined which heat pipes can effectively carry the required heat load (Pt 1), we need to ensure we select and size the heat exchanger to dissipate the heat into the surrounding air -based on available air flow. As mentioned in the prior post, this...

read more
Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 1)

Design Considerations When Using Heat Pipes (Pt. 1)

This blog post offers some intermediate level heat pipe design guidance for the most prevalent types of electronics applications: mobile to embedded computing and server type applications with power ranging from 15-150 watts using processor die sizes of between...

read more