Types of Thermal Cooling for Consumer Electronics

Thermal cooling methods for consumer devices.


For the past fifty or so years, the electronics industry has consistently produced devices that are double in speed/capability driven in part by Moore’s Law (TLDR; the number of transistors in a chip can be doubled every 24 months).

As we reach the physical limitation of how small we can make transistors (~7 nanometers), the speed of electronics is reaching a limit. However, this limit is also driven by our ability to dissipate heat from electronics, which is why thermal engineering is such an exciting field right now in 2020. It’s important to keep your electronics cool within their permissible operating temperature limits as they become susceptible to malfunction and or physical damage if they overheat.

Listed below are common cooling devices based on conduction or convective heat transfer methods.

  1. Heat Sinks
  2. Cold Plates
  3. Forced Air Cooling (Fans)
  4. Heat Pipes (Phase Changes)