The TO-220 is a style of electronic package used for high-powered, through-hole components. The "TO" designation stands for "transistor outline".TO-220 packages have three leads. Similar packages with two, four, five or seven leads are also manufactured. A notable characteristic is a metal tab with a hole, used in mounting the case to a heatsink, allowing the component to dissipate more heat than one constructed in a TO-92 case. Common TO-220-packaged components include discrete semiconductors such as transistors and silicon-controlled rectifiers, as well as integrated circuits.
A semiconductor package is a metal, plastic, glass, or ceramic casing containing one or more discrete semiconductor devices or integrated circuits. Individual components are fabricated on semiconductor wafers before being diced into die, tested, and packaged. The package provides a means for connecting the package to the external environment, such as printed circuit board, via leads such as lands, balls, or pins; and protection against threats such as mechanical impact, chemical contamination, and light exposure. Additionally, it helps dissipate heat produced by the device, with or without the aid of a heat spreader. There are thousands of package types in use. Some are defined by international, national, or industry standards, while others are particular to an individual manufacturer.
A power semiconductor device is a semiconductor device used as a switch or rectifier in power electronics. Such a device is also called a power device or, when used in an integrated circuit, a power IC.
Through-hole technology, refers to the mounting scheme used for electronic components that involves the use of leads on the components that are inserted into holes drilled in printed circuit boards (PCB) and soldered to pads on the opposite side either by manual assembly or by the use of automated insertion mount machines.
The TO-220 package is a "power package" intended for power semiconductors and an example of a through-hole design rather than a surface-mount technology type of package. TO-220 packages can be mounted to a heat sink to dissipate several watts of waste heat. On a so-called "infinite heat sink", this can be 50 W or more. The top of the package has a metal tab with a hole used in mounting the component to a heat sink. Thermal compound is often applied between package and heatsink to further improve heat transfer.
Surface-mount technology (SMT) is a method for producing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). An electronic device so made is called a surface-mount device (SMD). In industry, it has largely replaced the through-hole technology construction method of fitting components with wire leads into holes in the circuit board. Both technologies can be used on the same board, with the through-hole technology used for components not suitable for surface mounting such as large transformers and heat-sinked power semiconductors.
A heat sink is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant, where it is dissipated away from the device, thereby allowing regulation of the device's temperature at optimal levels. In computers, heat sinks are used to cool central processing units or graphics processors. Heat sinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices such as power transistors and optoelectronics such as lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs), where the heat dissipation ability of the component itself is insufficient to moderate its temperature.
Waste heat is heat that is produced by a machine, or other process that uses energy, as a byproduct of doing work. All such processes give off some waste heat as a fundamental result of the laws of thermodynamics. Waste heat has lower utility than the original energy source. Sources of waste heat include all manner of human activities, natural systems, and all organisms, for example, a refrigerator warms the room air, an internal combustion engine generates high-temperature exhaust gases, and electronic components get warm when in operation.
The metal tab is often connected electrically to the internal circuitry. This does not normally pose a problem when using isolated heatsinks, but an electrically-insulating pad or sheet may be required to electrically isolate the component from the heatsink if the heatsink is electrically conductive, grounded or otherwise non-isolated. Many materials may be used to electrically isolate the TO-220 package, some of which have the added benefit of high thermal conductivity.
The thermal conductivity of a material is a measure of its ability to conduct heat. It is commonly denoted by , , or .
In applications that require a heatsink, damage or destruction of the TO-220 device due to overheating may occur if the heatsink is dislodged during operation.
A heatsinked TO-220 package dissipating 1 W of heat will have an internal (junction) temperature typically 2 to 5 °C higher than the package's temperature (due to the thermal resistance between the junction and the metal tab), and the metal tab of the TO-220 package will typically have a temperature 1 to 60 °C higher than the ambient temperature, depending on the type of heatsink (if any) used.
The watt is a unit of power. In the International System of Units (SI) it is defined as a derived unit of 1 joule per second, and is used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. In dimensional analysis, power is described by .
The junction-to-case thermal resistance of a TO-220 packaged device (which typically matters less than the case-to-ambient thermal resistance), depends on the thickness and the area of the semiconductor die inside the package, typically in a range between 0.5 °C/W and 3 °C/W (according to one textbook) or 1.5 °C/W and 4 °C/W (according to another).
If more heat needs to be dissipated, devices in the also widely used TO-247 (or TO-3P) package can be selected. TO-3P has a typical junction-to-ambient (heatsink) thermal resistance of only about 40 °C/W, and its TO-3PF variant a slightly lower one. Further increase of heat dissipation capability is possible with power modules.
A power module or power electronic module provides the physical containment for several power components, usually power semiconductor devices. These power semiconductors are typically soldered or sintered on a power electronic substrate that carries the power semiconductors, provides electrical and thermal contact and electrical insulation where needed. Compared to discrete power semiconductors in plastic housings as TO-247 or TO-220, power packages provide a higher power density and are in many cases more reliable.
When a TO-220 package is used without a heatsink, the package acts as its own heatsink, and the heatsink-to-ambient thermal resistance in air for a TO-220 package is approximately 70 °C/W.
The standard TO-220 outline is defined by the JEDEC organization. There are a number of variations on this outline,such as:
Sometimes the designation is followed by the number of leads, as in TO-220AB-5L for five leads, etc.
There also some vendor-specific variations such as International Rectifier's SUPER-220, which dispenses with the hole in favor of clip-mounting, thus claiming TO-247-like thermal performance in a TO-220 footprint.
A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction ; it has low resistance in one direction, and high resistance in the other. A diode vacuum tube or thermionic diode is a vacuum tube with two electrodes, a heated cathode and a plate, in which electrons can flow in only one direction, from cathode to plate. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a p–n junction connected to two electrical terminals. Semiconductor diodes were the first semiconductor electronic devices. The discovery of asymmetric electrical conduction across the contact between a crystalline mineral and a metal was made by German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1874. Today, most diodes are made of silicon, but other materials such as gallium arsenide and germanium are used.
In electronics, a linear regulator is a system used to maintain a steady voltage. The resistance of the regulator varies in accordance with the load resulting in a constant output voltage. The regulating device is made to act like a variable resistor, continuously adjusting a voltage divider network to maintain a constant output voltage and continually dissipating the difference between the input and regulated voltages as waste heat. By contrast, a switching regulator uses an active device that switches on and off to maintain an average value of output. Because the regulated voltage of a linear regulator must always be lower than input voltage, efficiency is limited and the input voltage must be high enough to always allow the active device to drop some voltage.
Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. A Peltier cooler, heater, or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other, with consumption of electrical energy, depending on the direction of the current. Such an instrument is also called a Peltier device, Peltier heat pump, solid state refrigerator, or thermoelectric cooler (TEC). It can be used either for heating or for cooling, although in practice the main application is cooling. It can also be used as a temperature controller that either heats or cools.
Computer cooling is required to remove the waste heat produced by computer components, to keep components within permissible operating temperature limits. Components that are susceptible to temporary malfunction or permanent failure if overheated include integrated circuits such as central processing units (CPUs), chipset, graphics cards, and hard disk drives.
An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields. Electronic components are mostly industrial products, available in a singular form and are not to be confused with electrical elements, which are conceptual abstractions representing idealized electronic components.
Ampacity is a portmanteau for ampere capacity defined by National Electrical Codes, in some North American countries. Ampacity is defined as the maximum current, in amperes, that a conductor can carry continuously under the conditions of use without exceeding its temperature rating. Also described as current-carrying capacity.
A low-dropout or LDO regulator is a DC linear voltage regulator that can regulate the output voltage even when the supply voltage is very close to the output voltage.
The 2N3055 is a silicon NPN power transistor intended for general purpose applications. It was introduced in the early 1960s by RCA using a hometaxial power transistor process, transitioned to an epitaxial base in the mid-1970s. Its numbering follows the JEDEC standard. It is a transistor type of enduring popularity.
A computer fan is any fan inside, or attached to, a computer case used for active cooling. Fans are used to draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside, and move air across a heat sink to cool a particular component. Both axial and sometimes centrifugal (blower/squirrel-cage) fans are used in computers. Computer fans commonly come in standard sizes, and are powered and controlled using 3- or 4-pin fan connectors.
The LM317 is a popular adjustable positive linear voltage regulator. It was designed by Robert C Dobkin in 1976 while he worked at National Semiconductor.
Flat no-leads packages such as quad-flat no-leads (QFN) and dual-flat no-leads (DFN) physically and electrically connect integrated circuits to printed circuit boards. Flat no-leads, also known as micro leadframe (MLF) and SON, is a surface-mount technology, one of several package technologies that connect ICs to the surfaces of PCBs without through-holes. Flat no-lead is a near chip scale plastic encapsulated package made with a planar copper lead frame substrate. Perimeter lands on the package bottom provide electrical connections to the PCB. Flat no-lead packages include an exposed thermal pad to improve heat transfer out of the IC. Heat transfer can be further facilitated by metal vias in the thermal pad. The QFN package is similar to the quad-flat package (QFP), and a ball grid array (BGA).
In electronics, TO-3 is a designation for a standardized metal semiconductor package used for power semiconductors, including transistors, silicon controlled rectifiers, and, integrated circuits. TO stands for "Transistor Outline" and relates to a series of technical drawings produced by JEDEC.
78xx is a family of self-contained fixed linear voltage regulator integrated circuits. The 78xx family is commonly used in electronic circuits requiring a regulated power supply due to their ease-of-use and low cost.
The multi-leaded power package is a style of electronic component package, commonly used for high power integrated circuits, especially for monolithic audio amplifiers. It was derived from single in-line package. The difference is the lead arrangement; multi-leaded power packages usually have the lead bent to zig-zag pattern. Multi-leaded power packages commonly have more than three leads; nine-, thirteen- and fifteen-lead units are common, units with five or seven leads with TO-220 style are also manufactured. A notable characteristic is a metal tab with a hole, used in mounting the case to a heatsink. The physical view of multi-leaded power packages are simply stretched TO-220 packages. Components made in multi-leaded power packages can handle more power than those constructed in TO-220 cases, or even TO3 cases with thermal resistance no less than 1.5 C/W.
Thermal resistance is a heat property and a measurement of a temperature difference by which an object or material resists a heat flow. Thermal resistance is the reciprocal of thermal conductance.
Electronic components have a wide range of failure modes. These can be classified in various ways, such as by time or cause. Failures can be caused by excess temperature, excess current or voltage, ionizing radiation, mechanical shock, stress or impact, and many other causes. In semiconductor devices, problems in the device package may cause failures due to contamination, mechanical stress of the device, or open or short circuits.
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