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In-Design Thermal Analysis For MMIC And RF PCB Power Applications

Insights into operating temperatures based on design decisions.

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Next-generation wireless communication and radar systems often demand increased RF power within a smaller footprint to meet the performance and size requirements of their respective commercial and aerospace applications. As a result, RF front-end electronics are exposed to the risk of higher operating temperatures, which degrade RF performance and threaten device reliability. For many device manufacturers, thermal concerns are addressed by imposing excessive thermal margins that reduce optimum performance or excessive heatsinking that adds weight and cost to the final product.

When design teams understand the actual operating temperatures within their electronic systems, designers can make better-informed decisions about heatsinking strategies and guidelines for operating at an optimal thermal margin. Historically, this information is derived through simulations performed by the mechanical team using specialized thermal analysis tools or through build and test methods that can delay development by months. Access to thermal analysis within the framework of the RF design platform provides RF engineers with insight into device operating temperatures as a function of their design decisions without the long wait for this critical data.

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