What are PCB Thermal Simulations?

Why we do need to conduct PCB thermal similations?

PCB Basics 
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Editorial Team - PCB Directory

Aug 27, 2021

PCB thermal simulations are conducted to figure out hot spots on a printed circuit board. Identifying the thermal hotspots is one of the most important parts of thermal management. A thermal hotspot is an area on the PCB that heats up quickly in comparison with other areas or that heats up more than other parts of the board. It is important to know which part of the board heats up during operation. This information can be used to ensure that heat sensitive components are not placed in these areas as they can malfunction. These simulations can also be used to figure out airflow, temperature distribution, and heat transfer in the PCB layout.

Heat simulations or thermal simulations are conducted with the help of software tools like PICLS, Altium Designer etc. The thermal simulation gives a color-scale heat map of the board under different working conditions.

Designers can also use infra-red cameras or try to visually inspect the board for heating issues, however, this is not as accurate as conducting a thermal simulation.

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