Friday, February 8, 2013

The Market for Thermal Management Technologies

As a result of the widespread introduction of microelectronics, together with the increasing demands on the components’ functionality and reliability, thermal management has become an important issue in almost every industry, including professional and consumer electronics systems, automotive electronics, electronic lamps, and domestic appliances.

The thermal management arena can be segmented into four main product categories – hardware, software, thermal interfaces, and thermal substrates – that elucidate the characteristics of this industry.

The need to cool complex electronic systems results from many factors, including those described below.


Devices have to deliver greater functionality within a higher-density, lower-profile package. From a thermal management perspective, a significant price must be paid for this increase in functionality. Device-operating frequency and gate count are increasing rapidly, dissipating greater amounts of power as heat. The buildup of excess heat is the major cause of failure in electronic systems. The trend toward greater power dissipation thus drove the development of thermal management devices and strategies, as engineers sought to remove enough heat from the device to ensure that circuit components stay below the levels needed to retain system performance and reliability.


While power dissipation has been the major driver of thermal management technology, some environmental and regulatory issues may have peripheral effects on the thermal management market. Since the mid-1990s, the electronics industry has been moving toward more power-conscious design.

That is also the goal of several global energy conservation and power management standards initiatives, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star, the European Union’s (EU) Blue Angel, and the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) in the computer industry.  It can be expected that the increased emphasis on efficiency in the electronics industry will include the goal of thermal management.

Other relevant issues include the initiative to eliminate lead in manufacturing.  While most applications that require thermal management employ non-solder methods to attach heat sinks to PCBs, many other electronics applications utilize solder.

Thermal management technologies make up an important part of the electronics industry’s drive to develop higher-performance applications.  This report examines the entire range of thermal management products and solutions in the market today or those likely to enter the market in the next five years.

The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, The Market for Thermal Management Technologies (SMC024H). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click here.

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