Using Mezzanine Card Assemblies:
Power Dissipation & Airflow Evaluation

A high percentage of new circuit card designs for VPX and VME have provisions for supporting at least one (typically PMC or XMC) mezzanine module.  These new mezzanine standards target high-speed I/O signaling that is needed for modern switch fabrics. High speed I/O often requires higher power, driving the need for supporting higher power dissipations on these mezzanine modules. Higher power modules usually contain large components such as heat sinks, connectors, optical transceivers, and so on. These large components increase the volume utilization, which chokes off the air channel, reducing cooling airflow. The question is, will these higher power dissipations and the higher volume utilization cause thermal issues in the system application? This white paper will explore the thermal considerations related to mezzanine cards and provide some recommendations on how to manage high power mezzanine modules in a system design.

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