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THERMAL MANAGEMENT OF FORCED CONVECTION TABLETS; An experimental and computational study
Keywords: Forced Convection Tablets, Handheld device, Heat transfer and CFD
Handheld devices with computing capabilities that match laptops and desktops have recently emerged as market drivers in the consumer electronics industry. To accommodate such high performance in a thin form factor, thermal management is a major challenge. In handheld devices skin touch temperature is as important as the processor temperature. Natural convection cooling is not sufficient to address the higher power density found in this class of high-performance tablet. Therefore, these devices will require forced convection solutions. This study analyses thermal management of such a forced convection tablet using experimental and computational techniques. Infrared thermal images, used to identify hot spots in the interior of the tablet, are captured while the tablet is being exercised. Thermocouples are attached to the hot spots in order to capture the temperature at these locations. The experimental data is then used to assist in the creation of a CFD model that captures both air flow and temperature of the device. Because it is a forced convection consumer electronics product, all ergonomic constraints have to be considered including the acoustics of the product. For this reason, the tablet must be characterized in an acoustic chamber. Acoustics will limit the amount of airflow that is available for cooling the electronics at a particular ambient temperature and operating condition. Acoustic behavior at different ambient and operating conditions will be discussed based with respect to different blower speed settings. Thermal design, in order to reduce the airflow requirement and thereby obtaining better acoustic behavior, will also be discussed.
Irvin Romero, Thermal Engineer
Electronic Cooling Solutions, Inc.
Santa Clara, Ca

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