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App note: Designing P.C. Board heat sinks

App note: Designing P.C. Board heat sinks

Application hint from Micrel on how to do baseline calculation on board area required as heatsink for SMD components. Link here (PDF)

System designers increasingly face the restriction of using all surface-mounted components in their new designs; even including the power components. Through-hole components can dissipate excess heat with clip-on or bolt-on heat sinks keeping things cool. Surface mounted components do not have this flexibility and rely on the conductive traces or pads on the printed circuit board for heat transfer. This hint addresses the question “How much PC board pad area does my design require?”

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