Managing Heat in Modern Electronic Devices (Part 1)

By TriMech on

“We have decided to halt production and sales of the [Modern Electronic Device] in order to consider our consumers’ safety first and foremost.”-Samsung.

After making this statement, Samsung was forced to recall 2.5 million devices already shipped or in consumers’ hands. That is a position no company wants to be in, but the reality is that more and more companies, in order to compete, must keep up with the technological advances. Businesses and consumers are demanding more from the electronic devices they purchase.

In this two-part video series, we’ll demonstrate how simple validation tests can ensure your design is handling the thermal load properly and if not, how to make the necessary changes to dissipate heat and avoid critical temperatures, field failures and thermal runaway. 

The Challenge


New products designed today must be more intelligent and they must be connected. Many require batteries, displays and touch interfaces that have become the norm. This ubiquity of electronics in everything we use is changing how we design products

A new device often has a bright display, is intelligent, connected, touch-friendly, battery-powered or any combination of these. However, as you add on more features, the device will generate more heat. Without considering how your product will manage and dissipate this heat, your company may be the next to ‘halt production and sales.’

Thermal Management


If you know things are heating up and that’s a problem, jump ahead to the video. If you aren’t sure if thermal management is going to be an issue, here are some things to consider:

  • Have power demands increased in your new device?
  • Does it have a nice, bright display that was added in this iteration?
  • Will your product will be labeled as ‘IoT’ or ‘Connected’?
  • Is there an Electrical Engineer sitting across the hall from you?

This video may help if your previous concerns were draft angles or C2 continuity and now you are being asked to consider:

  • Active or passive cooling options
  • Environmental factors such as air temperature and sun exposure
  • Placement of vents and fans in your enclosures
  • Use of heatsinks, chips and thermal grease or pads


>> To see Part 2 of this series click here <<

Are you ready to run some heat tests on your designs? Click on the button below to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Simulation software.