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The TO-220 is a style of electronic component package, commonly used for transistors, silicon-controlled rectifiers, and integrated circuits. The "TO" designation stands for "transistor outline". TO-220 packages have three leads. Similar packages with two, four, five or seven leads are also manufactured. A notable characteristic is a metal tab with a hole, used in mounting the case to a heatsink. Components made in TO-220 packages can dissipate more heat than those constructed in TO-92 cases.
The TO-220 package is an example of a through-hole design rather than a surface-mount technology type of package. TO-220 packages can be mounted to a heat sink to dissipate several watts of waste heat. The top of the package has a metal tab with a hole used in mounting the component to a heatsink. Thermal compound is often applied to further improve heat transfer from the package to the heatsink.
The metal tab is often connected electrically to the internal circuitry. This does not normally pose a problem when using isolated heatsinks, but an electrically-insulating pad or sheet may be required to electrically isolate the component from the heatsink if the heatsink is electrically conductive, grounded or otherwise non-isolated. Many materials may be used to electrically isolate the TO-220 package, some of which have the added benefit of high thermal conductivity.
In applications that require a heatsink, damage or destruction of the TO-220 device due to overheating may occur if the heatsink is dislodged during operation.
A TO-220 package that is not heatsinked typically dissipates around 1W of heat, at a temperature 62.5°C higher than the ambient temperature.
- TO-220F, which has an insulated tab and body, and typically has a higher thermal resistance than the metal tab versions.
Sometimes the designation is followed by the number of leads, as in TO-220AB-5L for five leads, etc.
Common components that use the TO-220 package
- 7805, +5-volt linear voltage regulator
- 7812, +12-volt linear voltage regulator
- LM317T, adjustable linear voltage regulator
- LM340, linear voltage regulator
- IRF510, N-channel MOSFET (5.6A, 100V)
- TO-3, a metal case used for power semiconductors
- TO-263, the surface mount equivalent of the TO-220.
- Chip carrier, Chip packaging and package types list
- List of semiconductor cases, http://malaysia.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=centre/eem_techref_semipack
- Torque Recommendations for TO-220 Devices, http://www.vishay.com/docs/72674/72674.pdf
- List of package types, http://www.fairchildsemi.com/products/discrete/packaging/pkg.html