Editor's Choice


Advanced graphite embedding capability for PCB thermal management

25 October 2023 Editor's Choice Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

Teledyne Labtech has announced a major new capability allowing the embedding of layers of synthetic graphite within RF and microwave PCBs. This provides weight savings for applications where size, weight, and power (SWaP) are key.

Heat management is a significant concern in many aerospace defence and space applications where SWaP are key attributes. Gallium nitride (GaN) solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs) are examples of increasingly common devices that benefit from careful heat management. This new technique allows efficient conduction of heat away from such devices, saving system weight and increasing their lifetime. Managing waste heat is a significant problem in today’s electronic systems, impacting reliability and requiring added expense and weight to control effectively. In the latest consumer mobile phones, it is common to employ sheets of self-adhesive synthetic graphite on top of critical semiconductor devices to conduct waste heat from small areas.

Aerospace, defence, and space applications require more precision, repeatability and area of coverage. To address this, Teledyne Labtech has developed a method of embedding thin layers of synthetic graphite inside the structure of the host PCB reliably, saving size and weight, while increasing the lifetime of active devices by permitting operation at cooler temperatures.

“Synthetic graphite is one quarter the mass of copper, and transfers heat four times more efficiently in the X-Y plane,” said John Priday, CTO of Teledyne Labtech. “Replacing PCB ground plane layers with graphite in critical applications such as T/R modules can cause devices to run up to 20°C cooler in our testing.”

Labtech has also demonstrated that thermal copper layers can be replaced with the new graphite technique, while experiencing minimal impact on the passage of microwave signals on grounding layers.

For more information contact Conical Technologies, +27 66 231 1900, daniel.haywood@conical.co.za, www.conical.co.za


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