TI recommends using one of the middle layers as a solid ground plane. Ground plane provides shielding for sensitive circuits and traces. It also provides a quiet reference potential for the control circuitry. Connect the AGND and PGND pins to the ground plane using vias right next to the bypass capacitors. PGND pins are connected to the source of the internal LS switch; connect the PGND pins directly to the grounds of the input and output capacitors. The PGND net contains noise at the switching frequency and may bounce due to load variations. The PGND trace, as well as PVIN and SW traces, should be constrained to one side of the ground plane. The other side of the ground plane contains much less noise — use for sensitive routes.
Provide adequate device heat sinking by utilizing the PAD of the device as the primary thermal path. Use a minimum 4 by 4 array of 10 mil thermal vias to connect the PAD to the system ground plane for heat sinking. Distribute the vias evenly under the PAD. Use as much copper as possible for system ground plane on the top and bottom layers for the best heat dissipation. TI recommends using a four-layer board with the copper thickness, for the four layers, starting from the top one, 2 oz / 1 oz / 1 oz / 2 oz. Four layer boards with enough copper thickness and proper layout provides low current conduction impedance, proper shielding and lower thermal resistance.
The thermal characteristics of the LM76002/LM76003 are specified using the parameter RθJA, which characterize the junction temperature of the silicon to the ambient temperature in a specific system. Although the value of RθJA is dependant on many variables, it still can be used to approximate the operating junction temperature of the device.
To obtain an estimate of the device junction temperature, one may use the following relationship:
The maximum operating junction temperature of the LM76002/LM76003 is 125°C. RθJA is highly related to PCB size and layout, as well as environmental factors such as heat sinking and air flow. Figure 86 shows measured results of RθJA with different copper area on a 2-layer board and a 4-layer board.