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Thermal imagery of operating Raspberry Pi

Remy at Spanish-language tech site Geektopia is a Raspberry Pi enthusiast with access to a thermal imager. Sounds like my kind of guy. He writes (per mine and Google’s hack Spanish):

After a long wait since its release, I recently came into possession of a Raspberry Pi computer, and the first thing that struck was not how easy it is to use or the incredible community that’s built up around it in such a short time: I was surprised at how hot it gets. Since I have access to a Fluke Ti35 thermal camera, I set out to do a little study of this miniature computer in operation.

Remy identifies three integrated circuits on the RasPi PCB that generate most of the heat: the processor (Broadcom BCM2835), the ethernet controller (SMSC LAN9512), and the voltage controller. Click through, below, to read about his conclusions and methods and to see the heat maps of his Raspberry Pi at rest, while playing video, while transferring files over the network connection, and while running a special “stress test” program that Remy wrote himself.

Thanks to Jacob Marsh at UK’s ModMyPi for assistance with this post. If you’re concerned about your Raspberry Pi’s heat dissipation, they’ve got a 3-pack of ready-made RasPi heat sinks available for just five quid.

¿Se calienta el ordenador Raspberry Pi? Estudio de sus temperaturas en funcionamiento

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Justin Shipe says:

    Are there any indications of what temperatures he was actually seeing on the scope? I spoke with @Rob_Bishop about this during his American Pi tour and they seem to think you can’t push the Pi to any unsafe temperature unless you’re doing something unconventional (and probably voiding your warranty).

    1. Sean Ragan says:

      Yeah, clicking through to Remy’s post shows various heat maps with indices and text callouts for all three chips under various conditions. Link duplicated here:

      http://www.geektopia.es/es/technology/2012/06/22/articulos/se-calienta-el-ordenador-raspberry-pi-estudio-de-sus-temperaturas-en-funcionamiento.html

  2. Blake Thomas says:

    Those temps seem excessive, it might be worth adding a heat-sink to increase it’s lifespan.
    I’m a little disappointed they used a linear regulator on this, it’s about the worst option for power efficiency, it’s not like a switching regulator is any more expensive.

  3. [...] thought to leave behind three columns of metal, in the top half of the case, positionjed to contact the three hottest chips on the board (Broadcom CPU/GPU, LAN controller, and voltage regulator). This allows the entire case to act as a [...]

  4. [...] thought to leave behind three columns of metal, in the top half of the case, positionjed to contact the three hottest chips on the board (Broadcom CPU/GPU, LAN controller, and voltage regulator). This allows the entire case to act as a [...]

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