In anticipation of steamy summer temperatures, many of us start planning trips to the beach where breezes help us stay cool. Life in small-form-factor-land is often a battle against heat; processor heat. Unlike the days of desktop P4s when many a fan was deployed in the finished system, the newer mobile processors are designed to make the cooling effort easier. It still must be carefully considered in designs using computer-on-modules or mITX motherboardsfor small form factors. Generally conductive heat sinks are used for lower temperature CPUs, say around 45°C, and a heat pipe for higher temperature, approximately 75°C.
Kontron is frequently asked to help design customfanless small form factor systems for OEM customers. Besides determining the heat sink or heat pipe we work with customers to understand the mounting angle for the system. Since heat is going only one direction (upward) it is important to design a chassis with outer fins so that the heat transfer through the CPU heat pipe to the inner pipes surrounding the chassis to the outer fins. That way the chassis becomes a big heat sink for sufficient heat dissipation based on the mounting position of the system when it will actually be generating heat.
Take control this summer and beat the heat.Nancy Pantone