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Intel® Atom™ Processor D400/D500 Series: Thermal Design Guide

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Intel® Atom™ Processor D400/D500 Series: Thermal Design Guide

In this document mechanical and thermal specifications for the processor are included. The components described in this document include:
• The thermal and mechanical specifications for the Intel® Atom™ D400 and D500 series processors. (D400 series: single core, D500 series: dual core)
• The reference design thermal solution (passive heatsink) for the processors and associated retention components

Importance of Thermal Management

The objective of thermal management is to ensure that the temperatures of all components in a system are maintained within their functional temperature range. Within this temperature range, a component is expected to meet its specified performance. Operation outside the functional temperature range can degrade system performance, cause logic errors or cause component and/or system damage. Temperatures exceeding the maximum operating limit of a component may result in irreversible changes in the operating characteristics of this component.

In a system environment, the processor temperature is a function of both system and component thermal characteristics. The system level thermal constraints consist of the local ambient air temperature and airflow over the processor as well as the physical constraints at and above the processor. The processor temperature depends in particular on the component power dissipation, the processor package thermal characteristics, and the processor thermal solution.

All of these parameters are affected by the continued push of technology to increase processor performance levels and packaging density (with more transistors and smaller size). As operating frequencies increase and packaging size decreases, the power density increases while the thermal solution space and airflow typically become more constrained or remains the same within the system. The result is an increased importance on system design to ensure that thermal design requirements are met for each component, including the processor, in the system.

Read the full Intel® Atom™ Processor D400/D500 Series Thermal Design Guide.