A heat sink is designed to keep inner components of electronic devices, such as a processor, cool during operation. Heat sinks are found in all types of computers. The brain of the computer, usually referred to as the CPU, has a built in thermometer. When the temperature gets hot, fans kick on and helps cool the CPU and the heat sink as well.
Different Types of Heat Sinks
There are many different types of heat sinks, but the two most common types are active heat sinks and passive heat sinks. Active heat sinks require the use of power and use fans for cooling. They do a fantastic job when it comes to cooling, but are a bit pricey. Passive heat sinks are composed of aluminum and have fins to help gets rid of heat using convection.
However, convection greatly depends on sufficient airflow over the heat sink. The fins play an important role and must be constructed vertically, with enough room in between them. As long as airflow is allowed, they can be very efficient.
How Heatsink Manufacturers Provide Thermal Management Solutions
Heatsink manufacturers, through thermal conductive materials, supply thermal management solutions. They have adhesive transfer tape, interface pads, conductive epoxies and conductive greases.
The electronics that we use today are fairly reliable, partly due to the implementation of heat sinks. If heat sinks were not used, our computer components would most certainly fail. Components such as voltage regulators, transistors, LEDs, ICs and power transistors would fry. This would be very expensive, not to mention cause much heartache.