AN 944: Thermal Modeling for Intel® Agilex™ FPGAs with the Intel® FPGA Power and Thermal Calculator

ID 683810
Date 3/29/2021

6.5. Heat Sink

FPGAs appear in a wide variety of products and layout configurations, consequently it can be difficult to find off-the-shelf heat sinks that meet all physical and performance requirements. Consequently, most applications will require custom heat sinks to maximize performance. For the purpose of our example, we have chosen an extruded aluminum heatsink generated by the CFD tool.

Attachment Force

The force with which the heat sink is attached depends on the number of pins in the package and the solder material. For more information about heat sink attachment force, refer to the article What is the maximum downward pressure that can be applied to the top of FPGA BGA packages?.

Thermal Interface Material (TIM)

Intel does not recommend a specific thermal interface material (TIM). The choice of TIM depends on multiple factors, including TIM performance, performance over lifetime, cost, ease of application, and reworkability. Depending on the type of TIM used, the manufacturer may specify different application criteria. As a general rule, TIMs with high conductivity and low bond-line thickness perform the best. In our example we have chosen a generic TIM with 0.25 mm thickness and a thermal conductivity of 5 W(/mk).