What Is the Thermal Head?

G. Wiesen

A thermal head can refer to two different devices, though it often indicates a device used to monitor and regulate temperatures for a computer’s central processing unit (CPU). This device is typically connected to the CPU either directly or through a wired connection, and allows information about the temperature of the CPU to be relayed to another system. The system used can vary, but often includes hardware that provides a user with temperature information that can help prevent CPU damage. A thermal head can also refer to a device that is part of a thermal printer, which is used to produce the heat necessary to print images.

Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.
Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.

The term “thermal head” can refer to either a device used with a CPU or part of a thermal printer. In reference to CPU temperature, a Thermal Head™ is a device used as part of a CPU temperature monitoring system. These systems are typically those designed and created by United States Technology Consortium (USTC) and allow a computer user to better monitor the temperature of his or her CPU. This type of Thermal Head™ can connect directly to the CPU of a computer or utilize a wire to transmit data from the CPU to the head itself.

An issue with a thermal head can require immediate repairs, because they regulate the temperature of the CPU.
An issue with a thermal head can require immediate repairs, because they regulate the temperature of the CPU.

Data about the temperature of the CPU is gathered by the Thermal Head™ and transmitted from it to a control unit. This is typically a physical piece of hardware that relays information about the temperature to a computer user. The system can then be used to make changes or adjustments to performance as necessary, to ensure a proper environment for the CPU to operate safely without damaging computer systems.

A thermal head can also be part of a thermal printer used to produce heat during printing. Thermal printers are often used for printing receipts, and do so either on special thermal paper or by using a thermal printing ribbon. A printer that uses thermal paper typically applies heat directly to the paper in specific locations to create text and images on the paper, while a ribbon can be used to produce images and text on paper when heat is applied to specific locations on the ribbon.

In either type of thermal printing system, the thermal head, sometimes called the thermal printing head, is the part of the printer that creates this heat. This is typically done by using a series of small resistors that can allow an electrical current to create the necessary heat. These tiny resistors effectively create small points of color that combine to create images and text.

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