A heat sink, also commonly spelled heatsink, is a heat exchanger that transfers the heat from a device (electronic or mechanical) into air or a liquid coolant. The air or coolant is then physically transferred away from the device to aid with temperature management.
A heat sink is often composed of aluminum alloys but another common material is copper, which has twice the thermal conductivity of aluminum. A heat sink can be made of any material that is a good conductor of heat energy.
Heat Sink Applications
A heat sink is usually used to cool electronics. In the world of computers and laptops, microprocessors, central processing units (commonly called CPU heatsinks) and graphics processors will use a heat sink to keep the device from overheating. Another common application is in semiconductor devices such as transistors or in optoelectronics (such as lasers and LEDs) to help cool the components.
Phononic – Replacing Heat Sink with Solid-State
Phononic's solid-state refrigerators and freezers effectively replace heat sink technology by performing the heat exchange via the semiconductor chip that generates cooling. This technology allows us to create extremely stable and uniform cooling throughout the entire cabinet. Our solid-state refrigerators offer up to 20X better temperature stability than compressor-based solutions, which can oscillate up to 5°C, creating wide temperature range fluctuations.
As the optoelectronics industry continues to see growth and anticipates more new technologies to be unveiled in the coming year, we can expect the same for optical communications.
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