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Embedded passive components and PCB size – thermal effects

D.M. Stubbs (The University of Hull, Hull, UK)
S.H. Pulko (The University of Hull, Hull, UK)
A.J. Wilkinson (The University of Hull, Hull, UK)
B. Wilson (Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, UMIST, Manchester, UK)
F. Christiaens (Alcatel Bell NV, Antwerpen, Belgium)
K. Allaert (Alcatel Bell NV, Antwerpen, Belgium)

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 1 August 2000


The embedding of passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors within printed circuit boards (PCBs) is motivated, to a large extent, by the desire for increased miniaturisation of electronic goods. However, resistors and, to a lesser extent, inductors are heat generating devices, and the temperature developed within PCBs as the result of the operation of embedded passives is a significant aspect of the design of a multilayer PCB. Here we investigate, by simulation, temperature fields associated with operation of embedded resistors. It is shown that for board dimensions less than 2cm × 2cm temperatures achieved are higher than those associated with larger boards having identical structures and identical resistor heat generation. Detailed simulations are used to investigate the sensitivity of the temperature rises associated with embedded resistors to copper track coverage and to thermal coupling of the PCB to ambient on its upper and lower surfaces. The implications of these findings are discussed both in the context of the design of real PCBs and in the context of thermal simulation.



Stubbs, D.M., Pulko, S.H., Wilkinson, A.J., Wilson, B., Christiaens, F. and Allaert, K. (2000), "Embedded passive components and PCB size – thermal effects", Microelectronics International, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 7-10.




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