Thermal Management of High Power High Frequency Resistors

Thermal management, especially with high power, high frequency resistors, is becoming much more important as the density of electronic components and the applied power increase. Both factors lead to higher temperatures produced by not only the individual components, but also the entire assembly. If this heat is not properly transferred out of the part, the heat build-up can cause the part to shift in value and eventually fail electrically and mechanically. Therefore heat dissipation in high power electronics creates challenges for integrating material selection together with thermal designs.

To make use of the extremely high power specifications that appear in data sheets and advertisements, there are certain criteria that the designer must control. Identifying a maximum surface temperature or maintaining a constant baseplate temperature are common examples of the ways that manufacturers manage the power ratings. The devices themselves are capable of running at these power ratings due to the high thermal conductivity of the substrate and the ability to quickly and efficiently transfer heat away from the device.

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