Thermal Design

Training Center Classroom

Welcome to this installment of EE Classroom on Thermal Design!


In designing electronics, there is no escaping the heat – or cold. Even the simplest of designs demand accurate and temperature measurement or that design will fail. Whether the application is for data centers, industrial equipment, medical devices, IoT devices, appliances, or consumer electronics, temperature control through a thermometer, thermocouple, resistance temperature detector, or thermistor is not an option. But sometimes choosing the right temperature-sensing device is not so “simple”.


In this classroom, we’ll explore the principles and applications of solid state temperature sensing. We’ll also help you answer some of your questions about which temperature-measurement sensing methods is the best for your application. A series of tutorials covering thermocouples covers the basics and some key differences in devices. As always, our sponsor provides related resources that will take you outside the classroom to more specific temperature-sensing information.

Aimee Kalnoskas

Senior Editor, EE World Online

Thermal Design Classroom Sponsored by

Temperature Sensing

How to choose a temperature-measurement sensing method

The principles of solid state temperature sensing

Applications of solid state temperature sensing

A more common temperature measurement method than the pyroelectric sensor is a temperature sensing IC. 

A look at the basic principle and function of the solid-state temperature sensors, as well as the first widely available model.

Some application considerations of solid state temperature sensors suitable for some – but not all – applications.

Related Resources

Temperature Sensors and Fan Control Design Guide

MCP9600 Evaluation Board

EMC181x Family of Temperature Sensors

 Thermocouples   •   Interfaces

Using and interfacing to thermocouples

Basics of thermocouples

Thermocouples and interfaces

The hot and cold of thermcouples

Despite its age, the thermocouples are still among the most-used temperature sensors.

An exploration of the interface issues, cold junction compensation, and linearization of thermocouples.

Thermocouples rely on the Seebeck effect whereby a junction of two dissimilar metals produces a voltage.

Slightly less accurate than RTDs, thermocouples cover a wide temperature range and respond quickly.

Temperature Sensors

IoT tilts balance from traditional devices to chips

Advancements create easy-to-use sensors

Imagine a temperature sensor operating in an IoT environment where connectivity to the network and subsequently to the cloud is paramount.

How do temperature sensors work? 

Thermocouples vs. RTD vs semiconductor IC

Significant advances have been made in delivering high-performance, low-cost, easy-to-use sensors for a diverse range of physical phenomena.

For an objective and reproducible measurement, we need to quantify the temperature values.

Temperature doesn’t change very quickly, and temperature sensors match that characteristic.

Microchip Technology Incorporated is a leading provider of smart, connected and secure embedded control solutions. Its easy-to-use development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs, which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company's solutions serve more than 120,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications and computing markets. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.