Selected resource material


As far as the course team members are aware, there are only two (related) magazines that focus solely on thermal management issues:

We have made extensive use of these archives in our own researches, and there are many references within the unit texts. Most of the articles are by authors who both know their subject and can express the information clearly and succinctly.

Of course, thermal management is a topic that increasingly attracts attention from more mainstream publications. There is an extended list of these in AMI4945 at this link. Because of the nature of their products, two magazines that frequently have thermal material are:


There are many books on thermodynamics, because this is a core engineering topic. However, most are of limited use for the electronics packaging professional as they have a theoretical or mathematical bias, cover many topics that are not directly appropriate, and are light on practicalities. Nevertheless, we have read some of these in our researches. The list of books below is in alphabetical order and contains some comments. All the titles are available through the Bolton library service.

Title Heat Transfer Handbook
Author Adrian Bejan, Allan D. Kraus
ISBN 0471390151
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc
Date 2003
Description This “doorstop” of a book contains 19 chapters, each contributed by a different specialist, but with no great deal of integration. As a result, there are some differences in nomenclature, though these are made explicit. There is also a wide variety of approaches, and many of the chapters are unduly mathematical.

Written from primarily an academic standpoint, each section has a set of references, some of which are extremely extended, as are some of the tables – Table 2.7 on the thermo-physical properties of fluids occupies no fewer than 49 pages!

Some of the specialist areas, such as those on porous media and heat pipes, are more promising. They cover a very wide range of materials, but there is regrettably little on the practicalities of manufacture and use.
Title Practical Guide to the Packaging of Electronics: Thermal and Mechanical Design and Analysis (Mechanical Engineering Series)
Author Ali Jamnia
ISBN 0824708652
Publisher Marcel Dekker
Date 2002
Description Jamnia’s book is certainly something to borrow from a library, than buy yourself – as with so many Marcel Dekker publications, it is amazingly expensive, working out at around 40p/page. The house style leads to an unfriendly presentation, especially with pages containing formulae and tables. The figures are of variable quality, and some are quite difficult to read. The material itself is also of variable quality and utility, and much material is stated as fact, rather than explained. A number of worked examples add to the usefulness of the material, but regrettably Jamnia uses English units – too many BTUs, °F and dimensions in feet to make it easy for the European engineer to deal with.

A book of two halves, with 84 pages on thermal issues, and the remainder of the book oscillating between reliability basics, consideration of stresses, and the basics of shock and vibration, separated by discussions on finite element methods.
Title Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks : Everything You Know About Cooling Electronics Is Wrong
Author Tony Kordyban
ISBN 0791800741
Publisher American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Date 1998
Description The title alone gives the casual reader the idea that this is going to be a book with a “light touch” and Tony Kordyban does not disappoint. If you have ever read Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal”, you will know how major management points can be made very subtly through a novel; this is a set of short stories that makes equally important engineering points about cooling electronics. You will probably be able to relate well to Herbie, the electrical engineer who has all the problems, and hopefully also learn the lessons that Tony Kordyban teaches. They are always accurate, and never trivial, although on many occasions what actually happens is not what you might expect intuitively. If you are the sort of engineer who likes equations with everything, this is not the book for you; if you face overheating components in a real environment, then you will undoubtedly learn something. Take it on holiday with you, but chuckle quietly over the humour, otherwise your partner might cotton on to the fact that you’ve taken your work with you!
Title More Hot Air
Author Tony Kordyban
ISBN 079180223X
Publisher American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Date 2005
Description Those who have learned much from Tony’s earlier book eagerly awaited its sequel. This has the same format, with substantially independent chapters, but this time grouped together in selected topics. As before, each chapter makes significant points, and the humour helps the learning process. However, the “human brain project” to which so many of the examples refer is perhaps too near the realm of fantasy, and there is more chat and less science than previously. But you can still learn something, as we did.
Title Design and Analysis of Heat Sinks
(Wiley Series in Thermal Management of Microelectronic & Electronic Systems)
Author Allan Kraus, Avram Bar-Cohen
ISBN 0471017558
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc
Date 1996
Description Krauss and Barr-Cohen’s book starts well enough, with a description of heat transfer fundamentals, but the number of equations in even the first chapter is a warning that the approach is one of analysis, rather than simulation, so it should not be a surprise that much of the rest of the book is a typesetter’s nightmare!
Title Estimating Influence of Temperature on Microelectronic Device Reliability: A Physics of Failure Approach (Electronic Packaging)
Author Pradeep Lall (Editor), Michael G. Pecht (Editor), Edward Hakim (Editor)
ISBN 0849394503
Publisher Interpharm/CRC
Date 1996
Description This book is primarily a refutation of the erroneous belief that there is a simple relationship between failure rate and temperate. As the quotation at the heat of Chapter 1 says “We have a headache with Arrhenius”, referring to Sony’s perspective on reliability prediction methods.

Starting from a simple base, the authors review the prediction methods of others before examining specific failure mechanisms. Lots of equations and graphs here, but also some enlightening photographs showing what failures look like.

The final section of the book, which starts with a physics-of-failure approach to IC burn-in and derating guidelines for microelectronic devices and electronic packages, offers more than it gives. Even the summaries can be difficult to deal with, as witness this example from p192:

“Typically, there may be a number of failure mechanisms dominant in a device technology; each may have a dominant dependence on a different stress. Thus, in order to activate all the failure mechanisms, the dominant stresses need to be applied simultaneously and cost-effectively. To quantitatively determine the magnitude of stresses necessary to activate the failure mechanisms and arrive at the desired cost-effective combination of stresses, models must be developed for each failure mechanism, as a function of stresses, device geometry, material, and magnitude of defects and design inconsistencies. The quantitative models, however, can aid only in relating the magnitude of a particular type of stress to manufacturing flaws and design inconsistencies, based on physics-of-failure concepts. The real case is more complex, involving interactions of stresses causing failure earlier than predicted by superposition of different stresses acting separately. There may be more than one failure mechanism in a device technology. Each of the mechanisms will have its own dependence on steady-state temperature, temperature cycle, temperature gradient, and time-dependent temperature change. An ideal case would be when an optimised combination of the relevant stresses is used to activate the failure mechanisms in a cost-effective manner.”

We haven’t yet reached the end of the paragraph, the argument is becoming circular, and there is no practical illustration of how such cost-effective testing may be done!
Title Thermal Design of Electronic Equipment (Electronics Handbook Series)
Author Ralph Remsburg
ISBN 0849300827
Publisher Interpharm/CRC
Date 2000
Title Advanced Thermal Design of Electronic Equipment
Author Ralph Remsburg
ISBN 0412122715
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Date 1998
Description Ralph Remsburg’s two books are by two different publishers, so in consequence are actually parallel texts to different levels and for different audiences, rather than the sequence of introduction and advanced treatment that one might have hoped. And they are primarily written from an analytical standpoint. Nevertheless, the explanations are relatively clear, if somewhat mathematical.

Don’t be too put off by the fact that immediately after the preface of the second book you will find no fewer than 13 pages dealing with nomenclature and symbols, Greek letters, dimensionless numbers and unit conversion factors. (Being American books, the preferred units are BTU, feet, and °F) Although unfriendly to the casual browser, at least this helps establish a consistency of use that is not always adhered to by other authors.

The arrangement of Remsburg’s first book is clear and explicit, and the drawings generally helpful. However, whilst the title refers to “electronic equipment”, apart from the first chapter very little of the text is actually specific to electronic equipment. So we learn how and where heat is produced, but the practicalities of conduction and convection as applied to electronic equipment are not articulated.

Nevertheless, if you need to understand conduction and convection, and create models of an analytical type rather than use simulation, this book would give you the tools and equations needed. There are also clear drawings of a commendably consistent type, which help explain the text.

Surprisingly, the topic of “Combined modes of heat transfer for electronic equipment” which one might have thought to be the point to which introductory material would lead, since it represents the real world, occupies a mere eight pages, and rather leaves the reader in mid-air.

The advanced book has rather more on combined modes, but is otherwise a more numerically-biased version of the first, albeit that it is supplemented by a number of worked examples. There is an interesting appendix of some 27 pages on “Acoustics for electronic equipment” but the treatment is unfortunately more on the physics by which sound is propagated, rather than on the mechanisms by which cooling energy is dissipated as sound.

As with the first book, the application to electronics is confined to the first chapter. There is, however, some description of the different software approaches and a listing of the analysis methods that were available when the book was written in 1997.
Title Thermal Management Handbook: For Electronic Assemblies
(Electronic Packaging & Interconnection Series)
Author Jerry E. Sergent, Al Krum
ISBN 0070266999
Publisher McGraw-Hill Education
Date 1998
Description Gerry Sergent is a materials specialist, with a career interest in electronic interconnection. For this book he has been joined by Al Krum, and the pair have marshalled the efforts of a number of contributors on various aspects of thermal analysis. In consequence, there is some repetition, and some variability of style.

This book is strongest when it is dealing with materials-biased issues, for example relating to the design of packages; the final chapter on electronic device cooling tackles only selected aspects, and puts them in a slightly arbitrary order. The chapter on computer-based thermal analysis is a good summary, but could do with much more explanation.

In short, if your interests relate to materials, here is a wealth of information (and extensive tables); if your focus is on thermal management, the book is not worth putting on your shelves.
Title Cooling Techniques for Electronic Equipment
Author D.S. Steinberg
ISBN 0471524514
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc
Date 1991
Description Whilst its publication date is off-putting, and the browser may be discouraged by an preliminary section on nomenclature, this is a practical book, especially for those who come across difficult thermal problems, such as those experienced within the defence industry. Although finite element analysis is referred to, and used both for thermal and stress modelling, there are a number of worked examples that use numerical methods. Steinberg generally uses English units as his starting point, but many key solutions also given in metric form.

Readers should bear in mind that a number of improvements have been made in materials, and component package styles have changed. Nevertheless, the methods shown are still generally applicable, especially at the high-performance end of the market.

As with Jamnia’s book, Steinberg recognises the synergies between thermal stresses and those due to vibration, but combines these rather more successfully.
Title Preventing Thermal Cycling and Vibration Failures in Electronic Equipment
Author Dave S. Steinberg
ISBN 0471357294
Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc
Date 2001
Description Steinberg’s follow-up to his book on thermal design has a useful first chapter on the physics of failure in electronic systems, and a second chapter on thermal expansion displacement that indicates the level of stresses involved.

Most of the rest of the book is not relevant for this module, and the ‘fixes’ he talks about are typically aimed at the military market. The stress assumptions in Chapter 11 are debatable, but at least the workings are there for everyone to see and comment on. And his conclusions on good practice could be helpful to anyone who is involved in designing products that need to survive a mechanically challenging environment
Title Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
Author John C. Tannehill
ISBN 156032046X
Publisher Taylor & Francis Inc
Date 1997
Description There are some glowing reviews at, and the blurb is enticing – “This book comes very close to perfection . . . clear articulation of fundamental knowledge”. And this is true, but from the perspective of an academic author. For the more generalist engineer, however, the high level of mathematics will not be helpful in communicating an understanding of the issues. Nevertheless, a section such as the beginning of Chapter 5, on the governing equations of fluid mechanics and heat transfer, that is of fluid dynamics, is a clear statement of the problem, although it assumes some background in the field, and builds on the basic equations, rather than explaining them.

Given the subject matter, and the type of treatment, the style is quite clear, and some of the historical perspectives are of value. We warmed to a quotation attributed to Sir Horace Lamb in 1932: “I am an old man now, and when I die and go to Heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather optimistic.” Be thankful that improvements in simulation techniques mean that you can concentrate on the problem, rather than on the detail of its solution . . .
Title Environmental Requirements for Electromechanical and Electrical Equipment
Author Ray Tricker, Samantha Tricker
ISBN 0750639024
Publisher Newnes
Date 1998
Description Ray Tricker and his daughter Samantha have produced a book that will be difficult to keep up-to-date because of the continuing changes in external specifications. The bulk of it describes test standards for environmental, mechanical and electrical test, with substantial sections on electromagnetic compatibility.

Much of the material could be deduced from the specifications themselves, which are available to students through the Athens link, so the browser should confine him/herself to the introduction to each of the chapters from Chapter 2 onwards, which indicate in brief the background to the testing, why it is necessary, and so on. Confusingly, the chapter headed “Introduction” is actually just a list of environmental classes, supported by no fewer than 29 pages of tables showing the different operational conditions. There is, however, a useful glossary and extensive list of reference specifications, at least as they were in 1999.

Apart from any specific links that you will find in the units, we have created a number of lists of general resource material to which we have ourselves referred. These are grouped into:

These groupings are not mutually exclusive, particularly as most sites have at least some links pages. In creating the Entry tools page, we tried to interpret this as relating to sites that concentrate on providing links, but there is inevitably some duplication.

We try to focus your searches appropriately, but this only works until the sites and search engines change. Unfortunately, the rate of change on Web sites is enormous – probably of the order of 30% yearly. Please help us keep the listing up-to-date by emailing information on changed addresses and lost links to Martin Tarr. Also, as we don’t have a monopoly on serendipity, we are always grateful to receive URLs and descriptions of sites that you find during your browsing and which contain information that you have found of interest and relevance.

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