In a move aimed at improving thermal simulation in a range of systems, Mentor Graphics has launched a technology package which brings together the T3Ster hardware test device and FloTHERM software.
According to the company, heat management is one of the biggest challenges in electronics, compounded by increased complexity and small form factors. And, according to a NASA study, 55% of all failures can be traced back to excessive temperature. T3Ster is a thermal transient tester for semiconductor device packages and leds, while FloTHERM is a leading package for electronics thermal simulation and analysis to predict airflow, temperature and heat transfer throughout electronics equipment including components, boards, and systems. The interface between the two allows accurate thermal simulation models to be created. Mentor says the combination is the only JESD51-14 compliant solution available, supports characterisation, modelling, simulation and test. John Isaac, director of market development for Mentor's Systems Design Division, said: "The challenge is that simulation is only as good as the model. That means accurate thermal data is needed in order to provide accurate characterisation of components, with heat paths and barriers. The problem to date is that creating thermal models is difficult, requires an expert and the models are hard to verify." The integration of T3Ster and FloTHERM is said to provide a way to optimise heat management in devices, subsystems and full systems. Manufacturers can optimise led and ic package designs for effective heat dissipation. Once the device prototype is built, they can characterise the device from a thermal perspective and build accurate models for use in FloTHERM. Systems integrators can then verify their heat management solutions with physical measurements using the T3ster hardware.