Thermal analysis tool enables ‘what if?’ approach

1 min read

In a move said to allow engineers to not only identify where heat flow congestion occurs and why, but also to identify potential solutions, Mentor Graphics has launched FloTHERM 9.

The software, with patent pending technology, introduces bottleneck and shortcut fields. According to the company, these fields elevate the use of simulation from an observation tool to an effective thermal design problem solver which can suggest potential solutions. Bottleneck and shortcut information is calculated using heat flux and temperature gradient. High bottleneck values indicate large heat flows attempting to pass through large thermal resistances, while large shortcut numbers reveal areas in which heat is not moving directly toward a significantly cooler region and thefore a potential heat transfer path. Erich Buergel, general manager of Mentor's mechanical analysis division, said: "Designers today don't have the time to hand their designs over to thermal engineers. This software allows efficient creation and solution of thermal models." John Isaac, director of market development for the system design division, added: "It takes designers away from trial and error to what if? It increases productivity and enables designers to come up with more competitive products." FloTHERM 9, available now, has already been used by CamSemi in the design of a mobile charger chip (see image). Nigel Heather, CamSemi's vp of engineering, said: "To achieve the same result by building prototype boards would have taken a long time and drawn resources away from other critical work. FloTHERM has helped us reduce development costs and kept our project on track to meet our customer's aggressive deadline."