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ECXML “neutral” file format being adopted for thermal simulation

New research shows that 20% of thermal engineers have now adopted the “neutral file format” for thermal simulation, ECXML.

According to 6SigmaET, which helped push for the creation of the format back in 2018, the neutral file format was developed to make it easier for thermal engineers to switch between different simulation platforms, with many feeling that they had become “locked in” to their current provider due to an inability to transfer models and simulations.

The research found that despite 71% of thermal engineers not being completely satisfied with their current electronics CFD software, 60% felt that they couldn’t change provider.

To address this issue, in 2018, 6SigmaET worked with industry experts and thermal engineers at Intel to launch the ECXML neutral file format. This format allows thermal simulations to be transferred between thermal simulation platforms, side-stepping the threat of getting “locked in” to a single provider.

The 6SigmaET research shows that a fifth of thermal engineers are now actively using ECXML as their go-to file format for thermal simulation.

The survey, which incorporated data from over 100 thermal engineers, also found that 37% still use the IDF format, 7% use IDX and 21% use Gerber.

Commenting on these findings, Tom Gregory, Product Manager at 6SigmaET said, “At 6SigmaET we’re committed to the roll out and adoption of neutral file formats for thermal simulation. As such, it’s great to see a fifth of thermal engineers now using this format as standard.

“In 2019, a JEDEC working group was set up for ECXML, with representatives from all major thermal simulation software providers and key electronics companies to help standardise ECXML as the industry’s de facto format. This represented a major step forward for the technology.

“From speaking to a number of our peers and customers in the thermal sector, it’s clear that simpler data sharing is ever more vital for simulation engineers. As such, we will continue to push for the use of ECXML in thermal engineering, and the right for engineers to easily share models and switch platforms as they see fit.”

Neil Tyler

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