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A comprehensive study of the mechanisms of heating and cooling originated by an electrical current in semiconductor devices is reported. The authors studied the Peltier, Joule, and Thomson phenomena self-consistently and found that the magnitudes of all of them were commensurable. A new formulation and interpretation of the Thomson effect are offered. The main conclusion of the present work is that the thermal analysis of any semiconductor device under real working conditions demands the inclusion of all heating and cooling mechanisms simultaneously.