Methods and low-cost single and multiply-detector IR heads for thermal management of electronics and microelectronics systems, circuits and devices
Elevated temperature is the dominant cause of electronic systems failures, accounting for 55% of them. Thus, there is a need for thermal characterization of electronic circuits. One of main methods of describing their thermal properties is the thermal impedance approach. The mathematical foundations for such measurements were laid down in the JEDEC JESD51 standards series. In our research and developments, we emphasize the use of IR systems in thermal characterization of electronic circuit and devices.
The thermal impedance is obtained based on measurements of temperature rise in the heat source of a circuit in response to a power step, from time zero to the moment when a thermal steady state is obtained. The method assumes thermal system linearity, temperature measurement in the heat source (or close to it) and a quasi 1-D heat flow. Taking all above into account is the goal of the on-going research. Furthermore, we have replaced contact temperature measurement by infrared radiation contactless imaging and measurement. Thermal impedance measurements are also useful in many other than electronics research areas. A thermally aware design of electronic circuits requires parallel research in 3 main fields: circuits thermal simulations, thermal parameters measurements and modeling. The team from Electronic Circuits and Thermography Division conducts research in all these areas, with special interest in applications of radiation temperature measurements for electronic circuits thermal management, in cooperation with scientists from Poland and abroad.
Causes of electronic circuits failures
We have recently developed the new method for the measurement thermal impedance using low-cost single-detector MWIR head for dynamic temperature measurements on the outer surface of the power device or circuit case. By thermal modelling, it is possible to get temperature evolution in time inside the thermal object, in the heat source. A few thermal models were considered during the research: analytical and numerical, 1D and 3D, compact and physical. Finally, due to the reasonable compromise between accuracy and execution time of simulation, the compact model was selected. Using the thermal impedance of the thermal object, it is possible to obtain the spectrum of thermal time constants to characterize the device thermally and localize the possible failures in the multilayer structure.
The knowledge gained during the research will allow for further development of proprietary software and measurement setups dedicated for thermal characterization of electronic circuits and to continue the research in this domain taking into account the coming development of semiconductor technologies. The multiply-detector IR head is planned to be developed for microscopic measurements.
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