In some chip applications, such as voltage regulators, high levels of heat generation are inevitable when the device is doing its work. Making use of an exposed pad can improve heat dissipation from your chips. It can also help to optimize product space and reduce costs.
An exposed pad is an exposed metal plate on a chip package. The following exposed pad pointers may help in your design application.
- Design the size of solder pads to fit the datasheet mentioned
When the correct size of exposed pad is connected to a larger plane, it can help to increase thermal dissipation for your IC
- Be aware of the electrical potential for the exposed pad
It is important to follow the datasheet’s instructions for your device concerning the electrical potential for the exposed pad. Some pads must be connected to the ground plane, some must be electrically disconnected and some accommodate both options.
- Make use of PCB vias
Adding PCB vias from the exposed pad’s land area to the other side of the PCB can transfer the heat effectively. However, the number of vias are application specific and dependent upon the package power dissipation as well as electrical conductivity requirement.
For more information about Exposed Pads on ICs, please check our FAQ thread here: