It’s a fact: the higher the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) temperature, the lower the electrical performance of an electronic device. With electronic component and power density on present-day PCBs being higher than ever, it's difficult for a PCB designer to ignore thermal effects. Thermal analysis assists the designer in determining the electrical performance of the components on the PCB, and it also helps the designer determine if the component or PCB will burn up due to high temperatures.

Natural or forced convection from the front and back surfaces, conduction from the edges of the PCB to walls of an electronics box, conduction through rigid or flexible connectors to other PCBs, conduction from PCB to mounting frame and conduction to heat sinks are just some of the scenarios that can be analyzed using NISA. The NISA product line has been helping the electronics industry for the last two decades in designing and analyzing safe and efficient products.

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PCB housing cooling analysis


Overheating of electronic components in an enclosed geometry is an important study in today’s age of miniaturization. A manufacturer needed to determine the amount of thermal power dissipation into the resistor (in yellow in “FE model”), in order to maintain the IC (in green) temperature of 85°C, at different atmospheric temperatures.


Passive electronic components were modeled with beam, shell and solid elements. The heat transfer coefficient was calculated analytically for different ambient temperatures. Combined conduction and convection heat transfer modes are considered. Steady state heat transfer analysis was carried out for the heat dissipation into the resistor so as to maintain the IC at 85°C. The heat flux to be transmitted to the resistor at an ambient temperature of 25°C was found, so as to maintain the temperature of the IC at 85°C.

Thermal and stress analysis of a PCB

With component density on PCBs on the rise, thermal failure of these boards needs to be studied. A large computer PCB manufacturer needed to determine the optimum number of components and their layout. Thermal stress analysis was conducted to qualify the PCB board for various service conditions.