• :00Days
• :00Hours
• :00Mins
• 00Seconds
A new era for learning is coming soon

Suggested languages for you:

Americas

Europe

Q17Q

Expert-verified
Found in: Page 390

### Physics Principles with Applications

Book edition 7th
Author(s) Douglas C. Giancoli
Pages 978 pages
ISBN 978-0321625922

# Microprocessor chips have a “heat sink” glued on top that looks like a series of fins. Why are they shaped like that?

When the shape of the heat sink is in the form of a series of fins, there is more surface area than when the heat sink is a solid plane surface. This heat sink removes the heat generated in the chip through conduction, and more air can come in contact with the heat sink and increase the rate of heat transfer through convection.

See the step by step solution

## Step 1: Concepts

Conduction is a process of heat transfer through the direct contact between two surfaces, and convection is the process of heat transfer through the movement of air, where hotter air rises and the cooler one sinks.

The rate of heat transfer is directly proportional to the surface area.

## Step 2: Explanation

When the shape of the heat sink is in the form of a series of fins, there is more surface area than when the heat sink is a solid plane surface. Here, the heat is transferred by the convection process through the series of fins. As the surface area is greater due to the series of fins, more air can come into contact with the heat sink, and the rate of heat transfer increases. The heat generated within the chip is also removed by the heat sink through the process of conduction.