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Thermal management ICs generate market heat

Posted: 27 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:thermal management IC? Databeans? Susie Inouye? Simple Serial Transport? SST?

Market researcher Databeans Inc. estimates that revenue generated by thermal management ICs reached $674 million in 2005. Growing at an average rate of 20 percent each year, the thermal management IC market could reach just under $2 billion in five years, according to Databeans.

"Temperature management becomes a real issue with more complex designs residing on smaller boards," said Susie Inouye, an analyst with the research firm. "The importance of thermal management is gaining momentum, providing a strong market opportunity for devices servicing this function. Temperature sensors play a vital role in today's electronics, providing systems with protection against malfunction and/or failure due to excessive heat dissipation."

Recently, Intel Corp. and Analog Devices Inc. announced a collaboration on ADI's Simple Serial Transport (SST) bus technology, "where analog temperature and voltage signals are translated and transported to digital circuitry, which responds by minimizing thermal management errors, resulting in higher performance computing," according to the analyst.

The SST bus improves upon the existing 100Kbps SMBus (System Management Bus) in high-performance computing applications by offering increased bandwidth and higher noise sensitivity.

The computing space is the largest market for thermal management devices. But the real growth opportunity is expected to come from other market segments where FPGAs and other embedded ASIC devices are used, she said.

"National Semiconductor's TruTherm technology has been successful at monitoring these complex devices, which are migrating to very small sub-micron geometries, and that have been pushing the limits of heat dissipation," she added.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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