This study uses experimentally validated computational fluid dynamics models to predict the behavior of the localized thermal interactions between adjacent components on vertically orientated circuit boards in natural convection. Using the developed models, the effects of power density, component proximity, component geometry, circuit board material, board packing density and board separation distance on the maintenance of optimal operating temperatures for all components are investigated. The device separation distance beyond which the components no longer thermally influence each other is identified and the influence of various parameters on this distance is studied. The parametric study is designed using Design of Experiments methodology to best interpret the interaction between parameters and can easily be applied to other packaging situations to allow designers to optimally place components on a circuit board in close proximity to minimize negative thermal interactions.

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