Cool as a Way of Life

Abstract: An integrated circuits (IC) life span is directly influenced by heat. The Arrhenius equation is a simple chemical formula for the temperature dependence of reaction rates. ICs are produced with chemical processes so heat is critical. The IC industry uses standard tests and printed circuit boards to compare devices. The IC test works a lot like the new car “mileage” window sticker in the US, compares “miles per gallon” (MPG) to other vehicles, there is a warning, “your mileage may vary.” We discuss the IC standard test and reveal a little known way to measure the temperature of an IC deep within a small tightly packed consumer device. This method is a laboratory test a system designer can perform even if the IC can’t normally measure temperature.