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On the Difficulty of Measuring the Case Temperature of an Over-Molded IC Package
Keywords: IC Package Thermal Testing, Temperature Measurement, Temperature Measurement Errors
It is a relatively simple task to make an accurate case temperature measurement of an IC package that has a high conductivity lid. If the thermocouple is attached properly, the thermocouple junction should be within a few tenths of a degree of the lid surface temperature. However, if the case of the IC package is made from a low conductivity material, such as exists with an over-molded IC package, great care must be taken to make an accurate temperature measurement. If the plastic package has a heat sink attached, it is next to impossible to make an accurate case temperature measurement. This presentation will discuss the magnitude of the errors created when attaching a thermocouple to measure the case temperature of an IC. It will emphasize the temperature distortion that occurs in the case temperature of an over-molded IC package due to the presence of a thermocouple. The temperature distortion is especially pronounced when a heat sink is attached.
Guy R Wagner, Director
Electronic Cooling Solutions
Santa Clara, CA

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