SLVSE84D December 2017 – July 2021 TLV767
Circuit reliability requires consideration of the device power dissipation, location of the circuit on the printed circuit board (PCB), and correct sizing of the thermal plane. The PCB area around the regulator must have few or no other heat-generating devices that cause added thermal stress.
To first-order approximation, power dissipation in the regulator depends on the input-to-output voltage difference and load conditions. The following equation calculates power dissipation (PD).
Power dissipation can be minimized, and therefore greater efficiency can be achieved, by correct selection of the system voltage rails. For the lowest power dissipation use the minimum input voltage required for correct output regulation.
For devices with a thermal pad, the primary heat conduction path for the device package is through the thermal pad to the PCB. Solder the thermal pad to a copper pad area under the device. This pad area must contain an array of plated vias that conduct heat to additional copper planes for increased heat dissipation.
The maximum power dissipation determines the maximum allowable ambient temperature (TA) for the device. According to the following equation, power dissipation and junction temperature are most often related by the junction-to-ambient thermal resistance (RθJA) of the combined PCB and device package and the temperature of the ambient air (TA).
Thermal resistance (RθJA) is highly dependent on the heat-spreading capability built into the particular PCB design, and therefore varies according to the total copper area, copper weight, and location of the planes. The junction-to-ambient thermal resistance listed in the Thermal Information table is determined by the JEDEC standard PCB and copper-spreading area, and is used as a relative measure of package thermal performance.