In electronic systems, a heat sink is a passive heat exchanger component that cools a device by dissipating heat into the surrounding air. In computers, heat sinks are used to cool central processing units or graphics processors. Heat sinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices such as power transistors and optoelectronic devices such as lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs), wherever the heat dissipation ability of the basic device package is insufficient to control its temperature.
A heat sink is designed to increase the surface area in contact with the cooling medium surrounding it, such as the air. Approach air velocity, choice of material, fin (or other protrusion) design and surface treatment are some of the factors which affect the thermal performance of a heat sink. Heat sink attachment methods and thermal interface materials also affect the eventual die temperature of the integrated circuit. Thermal adhesive or thermal grease fills the air gap between the heat sink and device to improve its thermal performance. Theoretical, experimental and numerical methods can be used to determine a heat sink's thermal performance.
Other articles related to "heat sink":
... be used to determine an estimate of the heat sink or component temperatures of products before a physical model has been made ...
Famous quotes containing the words sink and/or heat:
“Not to sink under being man and wife,
But get some color and music out of life?”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“Why does man freeze to death trying to reach the North Pole? Why does man drive himself to suffer the steam and heat of the Amazon? Why does he stagger his mind with the mathematics of the sky? Once the question mark has arisen in the human brain the answer must be found, if it takes a hundred years. A thousand years.”
—Walter Reisch (19031963)