New IPC-2152 Current-Carrying Capacity Standard Solves 50-Year Old Mystery

IPC just released a new design document: IPC-2152, Standard for Determining Current-Carrying Capacity In Printed Board Design. Ten years in the making, principal author and Committee Chair Mike Jouppi discusses the features in the new document and why it’s important, if not critical, for PCB designers and engineers. The document replaces charts used by the industry since the 1950s that have been included in IPC design standards for many years.

The new standard provides guidance on how thermal conductivity, vias, power dissipation, printed board material and thickness, and most importantly, the presence of copper planes all factor into the relationship between current, conductor size, and temperature.

Watch the interview here.

IPC-2152 in the IPC Online Store.

More RealTime with IPC Midwest video interviews of Committee Chairs.

Jouppi receiving IPC Special Recognition Award from IPC Vice President of Technical Programs Dave Torp (right)

Jouppi receiving IPC Special Recognition Award from IPC Vice President of Technical Programs Dave Torp (right)


  1. Posted October 9, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    congratulations Mike well done cheers Derk

  2. Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This was a very good achievement, however “…current, conductor size, and temperature” is not enough. We need to know -reliability- as well. For example, given a specific temperature of the PCB, how long will it last before degradation mechanisms like delamination (or other) will start?
    – I see PCB fabricators saying that a specific laminate is designed for maximum operating temperature of say 130 deg C. Okay, how long will it last at that temperature? at 120? at 100? at 80? etc.

    • Kim Sterling
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Hello Raul –

      According to the IPC technical staff, there are too many variables to provide such information. However, John Perry, one of our technical managers, recommends that you check out IPC-9701, Performance Test Methods and Qualification Requirements for Surface Mount Solder Attachments, and IPC-1601, Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines. Both can be found at

      Kim Sterling, IPC

  3. Mike Jouppi
    Posted April 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Sitting in the San Jose airport I came a across this site.



    In the world of engineering every problem gets broken down into various pieces that get addressed by the various disciplines. I have been approached by some electrical engineers that talk about powering traces to dielectric glass transition temperatures. My first reaction is that is crazy talk. My next thought is, ok what do you really want to do? If you have electrical components near these traces you certainly don’t want to run at that temperature in a steady state condition. Although, if you can manage not frying your electrical components, you certainly could allow your traces to reach those high temps for a short duration. Once you start down that road then the number of cycles will come in to play and cycle to life calculations need to be investigated. Very cool problem to work through. Why don’t you share your work in this area Raul?


    Mike Jouppi

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