Discrete platforms of actively participating in the rapid evolution of communications technologies connect Telecom, TV, and IP networks, converging into a single network.
The electronic equipment is the same network used to watch TV, text your peers, or even place an emergency 911 call. As our need for interconnectivity surges, the obligation to provide a dependable network is paramount.
The reliability of this electronic hardware is a direct function of its temperature, so a smart thermal design is vital to the life expectancy of the equipment. Enclosure and chassis designs are now driven by their thermal performance due to the increasing power densities. Plus, this network equipment must be deployed in a broad range of environmental conditions at the Central Office, Customer Premise, and Outdoor Base Station. COOLTRON is the largest provider of thermal design services and heat sink solutions in the Telecom and IP equipment industry. COOLTRON provides unique solutions in the following segments which have their own unique challenges:
Wireless base stations are evolving to keep up with the ever-increasing number of subscribers and data rates now driven by smart phone usage and multi-mode schemes. The advent of 4G LTE networks moved the RF power amplifiers and transceivers from indoor rack-mounted units cooled by forced convection, to pole-mounted enclosures termed Remote Radio Heads (RRH) dependent on natural convection to cool. In order to streamline pole-mounted equipment, RRH components have also been integrated into the antenna, which is known as an active antenna (AA), or Active Integrated Radio (AIR) antenna. Furthermore, the RF Power Amplifiers are getting hotter and smaller, so in order to dissipate heat efficiently in a traditional casting enclosure, COOLTRON focuses on solutions to overcome the lateral spreading limitations. These enclosures must remain weather proof and EMC compliant, so the end-solution is a “Thermal Enclosure” that can provide both functions effectively.
Cooling solutions are also required for Ethernet and Ultra-broadband components to meet the increasing speed and bandwidth demands in both optical and copper access equipment. TV set top boxes have joined part of the converged network as 1080p and 4k resolutions are streamed live or recorded to DVR's simultaneously with multi-tuner units. Set top boxes have also shifted from natural convection to forced convection cooling using low-noise fans to prevent interruptions.
The central office and data center environment is much more benign than outdoor or premise. However, this is where the highest performance equipment is required which also has the greatest power and heat density. Every chassis must be designed to stay cool and operate even if the air conditioning system fails. Multiple heat-generating semiconductor components, such as CPU's, ASICs, and memory, all must be placed closely together for the best electrical performance, and yet, also be cooled within this close configuration. COOLTRON is able to provide a safe operating environment by utilizing the high thermal conductivity (50,000 W/mK) of heat pipes to dissipate these high heat fluxes.
Optical and Microwave Backhaul equipment transmits signals over the longest distances with the greatest bandwidth, so continuous advances to leap from Gigabit to Terabit speeds can only be possible by incorporating the thermal design in early stages of product design. (say something about COOLTRON Design's Services) Microwave equipment faces the same thermal challenges as Radio Access equipment. Optical hardware requires a premium amount of space which leaves little room for the thermal hardware. Optical transceiver modules, such as CFP's, also require precision thermal solutions to overcome the high contact resistance stemming from hot-pluggable interfaces.