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Inventory: 5G Market, Who has the Best Heat Dissipation Material?

5G technology has ushered in a new era of connectivity, bringing faster speeds and increased data transfer capabilities. However, with these advancements comes the need for efficient heat management in 5G devices and infrastructure. This is where 5G thermal management materials play a vital role.

The implementation of 5G networks requires densely packed electronic components, leading to higher power densities and increased heat generation. To ensure optimal performance and prevent overheating, specialized thermal management materials are necessary.

These materials are designed to dissipate heat effectively, ensuring the safe operation and longevity of 5G devices. They have excellent thermal conductivity properties, allowing heat to transfer away from hotspots efficiently. Additionally, they provide good insulation properties to prevent heat from spreading to other components.

Innovative materials, such as graphene-based composites and thermal interface materials, have emerged as promising solutions for 5G heat management. Graphene, with its exceptional thermal conductivity, offers enhanced heat dissipation capabilities. These materials can be integrated into the design of 5G devices, ensuring efficient heat transfer and reducing the risk of performance degradation or failure.

Furthermore, 5G thermal management materials are engineered to withstand high temperatures and harsh environments. They have excellent mechanical properties, ensuring durability and reliability in demanding operating conditions. These materials are also lightweight and compact, making them ideal for minimizing device size and weight, a crucial factor in the design of 5G devices.

As the demand for faster and more reliable 5G connectivity continues to grow, the importance of efficient heat management cannot be overstated. The development and utilization of advanced thermal management materials will enable the successful implementation and operation of 5G technology, ensuring optimal performance and enhancing user experience.

Traditional cellphone heat dissipation materials mainly consist of graphite sheets and thermal interface materials (TIM) like thermal conductive gel. However, graphite sheets have issues such as relatively low thermal conductivity and thickness.

Currently, heat pipes and VC (vapor chamber) technology, which were originally used in computers and servers, are being applied to smartphones. Graphene materials are also starting to be used. Compared to other materials, VC and graphene have higher thermal conductivity and lower thickness, making them more efficient heat dissipation materials.

Graphite Film: Mainstream Material for Heat Dissipation Solutions

The mainstream heat dissipation material, with a usage of 3 to 6 sheets per phone, is a better thermal conductor compared to metals like copper and aluminum. The main reason is that graphite has a unique hexagonal lattice structure, allowing for the even distribution and efficient transfer of heat in a two-dimensional plane.

In the horizontal direction, the thermal conductivity of graphite is 300-1900W/(m•K), while copper and aluminum have a thermal conductivity of about 200-400W/(m•K).

In the vertical direction, the thermal conductivity of graphite is only 5-20W/(m•K). Therefore, graphite has good horizontal thermal conductivity and vertical thermal resistance.

Moreover, graphite has a specific heat capacity comparable to aluminum, which is about twice that of copper. This means that after absorbing the same amount of heat, the temperature of graphite only increases half of that of copper.

Additionally, graphite has a density of only 0.7-2.1g/cm3, which is lower than copper's 8.96g/cm3 and aluminum's 2.7g/cm3. This allows for lightweight properties and smooth adhesion to any flat or curved surface.

Based on its advantages of high thermal conductivity, high specific heat capacity, and low density, graphite has been widely applied in consumer electronics since 2009 and became the mainstream heat dissipation material in the field of consumer electronics since 2011, replacing traditional metals.

Theoretically, the thinner the graphite film, the higher the thermal conductivity. In the early days, the thickness of graphite film ranged from 20 to 50µm, with a horizontal thermal conductivity of 300-1,500W/(m•K).

With technological improvements, the processing technology of graphite film has become more mature. Currently, the thinnest film can be as thin as 0.01mm, with a horizontal thermal conductivity as high as 1,900W/(m•K).

However, thinner is not always better for graphite heat dissipation films. The key is to fill the gap between the power devices and the heat sink. Therefore, different graphite heat dissipation films are used in different application scenarios.

The mainstream heat dissipation films include natural graphite heat dissipation film, artificial graphite heat dissipation film, and nanocarbon heat dissipation film.

(1) Natural graphite film: Made entirely from natural graphite, it does not undergo degassing under vacuum conditions and can continue to be used at temperatures above 400℃. The thinnest film can reach about 0.1mm and is mainly used in data centers, base stations, and charging stations.

(2) Artificial graphite heat dissipation film: Made by carbonizing and graphitizing polyimide (PI film), it is the thinnest heat dissipation film material currently available, with a thickness as thin as 0.01mm. It is widely used in smartphones, computers, and other smart terminal products.

(3) Nanocarbon heat dissipation film: Made from nanocarbon (isomorph of graphite). The thinnest film can reach 0.03mm, and the heat dissipation power can reach 1000-6000. Due to the simple processing steps of nanocarbon heat dissipation film, such as molding and cutting, it has low production costs and low selling prices.

Artificially synthesized graphite films are mainly used in smartphones, with the quantity depending on the phone's performance and requirements, typically ranging from 3 to 6 pieces. The components that use graphite films include the lens, CPU, OLED display, WiFi antenna, wireless charging, and battery.

Among these components, the CPU has the highest requirement for heat dissipation performance, followed by wireless charging, then the lens and battery, and finally, the display and WiFi antenna.

Currently, the price of high thermal conductivity graphite films is around $0.2 to $0.3 per sheet. Rough estimates suggest that the value of graphite films in a single phone is about $1 to $2. In the future, with more innovative electronic designs for smartphones, the value of graphite films is expected to further increase.



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