John Parry’s Blog

A mixed bag of things that interest me professionally -CFD technology and its use in education, cooling technologies and the place of thermal design in the overall design flow.

25 February, 2014

SEMI-THERM is one of the premier thermal management conferences and has the most targeted exhibition by far, with some 40+ exhibitors, including Mentor Graphics as Platinum Sponsor, so it’s a great place to network with people in the ‘cooling business’.

The exhibition is FREE TO ATTEND, so if you’re in the bay area and interested in thermal management stop by and see us at the DoubleTree Hotel and see what’s new in FloTHERM and our T3Ster hardware range. The exhibition is in the afternoons of Tuesday March 11 and Wednesday March 12.

The free entry to the exhibition also comes with some nice FREE TO ATTEND perks:
• Vendor Workshops – come and hear the latest news from Mentor Graphics on our hardware and software product developments
• Exhibitor Reception – this is from 6pm to 6:45pm on Wednesday
• Product Tear Down Session – This also takes place on Wednesday, from 7.30pm to 9pm. It’s new this year and promises to be very informative with presenters from Electronic Cooling Solutions and Cisco Inc.

The conference Awards luncheon takes place on Thursday 13th March, at which the THERMI and Harvey Rosten Awards are presented. The latter recognises excellence in thermal design and is sponsored by Mentor Graphics in honor of one of the founders of Flomerics, Harvey Rosten. It is awarded for work published during the year, and this year the award goes to Wendy Luiten at Philips for her paper “Solder joint Lifetime of Rapid Cycled LED Components”, which was presented at THERMINIC in Berlin in September 2013.

The JEDEC JC15 Thermal Standards Committee meeting takes place on the Friday following SEMI-THERM. This is something the Mechanical Analysis Division has been involved with since 1995. If you’re not familiar with JEDEC you can visit the web site to download free thermal standards and so benefit from the committee’s work. Recent standards include JESD51-14 for transient measurement of Rjc, which T3Ster supports.

I’m looking forward to seeing old friends again and meeting new ones. If you’re going to the conference see you in a couple of weeks!

Dr. J, Hampton Court (Past General Chair, SEMI-THERM 21)

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26 August, 2010

So, after three blog posts, what is the moral of this Blue Ridge Numerics’ “CFD Comparison Chart” saga?
Well, clearly one should not believe every “CFD Comparison Chart”! – or even the many “charts” that one vendor has put out. Rather, the story suggests that people who are thinking of buying a CFD tool for the first time might be well advised to be wary of what vendors claim about their own software relative to or as well as other company’s products. I’d also be very wary of vendors who use simple CFD demo models to show the software for your application.

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19 August, 2010

In my earlier posts I pointed out some glaring errors in the “CFD Comparison Chart” that Blue Ridge Numerics released on March 19th this year. Once we became aware of the “Chart” we quickly wrote a letter to Ed Williams, the CEO of Blue Ridge Numerics, and asked that they reveal the technical workings behind their outrageous claims. Including those I’ve mentioned, we pointed out a total of 6 very obvious initial errors applying to both FloEFD and Solidworks Flow Simulation in their document, directing them to publicly-available documents (some are mentioned in my previous blogs) and other information on the internet.

We also asked that they remove the document from the public domain, reserving the right to take legal action against them if they did not. We wanted them to cease and desist from using such a blatantly misleading CFD document, within which our product was so badly and unfairly represented, but also give them the opportunity to correct the document and send it back out to those engineers they had misled.

Blue Ridge Numerics wrote back to us via their lawyers claiming the “CFD Comparison Chart” had ‘inadvertent errors’ in it. Jim Spann, their VP Marketing, simultaneously produced a second chart they called a “Revised CFD Comparison Chart” for Desktop Engineering downloaders to use, but with no acknowledgement of the other misleading statements in the document about FloEFD, or that their claims about ANSYS CFX and ANSYS FLUENT were also wrong. Again, our Product Management team examined Jim Spann’s “Revised CFD Comparison Chart”. Blue Ridge Numerics had fixed the 6 very obvious mistakes we had pointed out for FloEFD and SolidWorks Flow Simulation in our letter, but we noted that many other false and misleading statements remained in the “Revised CFD Comparison Chart”.revised-comparison-chart-13


Again we pointed out by way of our lawyers to Mr Spann and Mr Williams that there were still numerous errors in Blue Ridge Numerics’ “Revised CFD Comparison Chart” and we again demonstrated our claims by pointing out publicly-available information to prove these features existed in FloEFD. Those we cited are circled in the “Revised Chart” shown below.


We again asked that they remove such a technically misleading document from the public domain and their sales process. Again they refused by return letter!

So what is the moral of the story? I’m going to leave my thoughts on that until next time, as I’m also working on some common-sense advice about how to choose a CFD code with or without “CFD Comparison Charts” which I want to provide to you to close out this series of blog posts.

Dr. J, Hampton Court

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12 August, 2010

In my last post I pointed out a very obvious mistake in Blue Ridge Numerics’ “CFD Comparison Chart” of March 19th this year, which incorrectly stated that FloEFD can only handle incompressible sub-sonic flows.

The reason I highlighted this as the most obvious mistake in the “CFD Comparison Chart” is that FloEFD can trace its history back to the Russian Aerospace Industry in the late 1980s originating from a code called Aeroshape-3D, having been developed by aerospace experts targeting transonic, supersonic and even hypersonic flows. Technical papers on Aeroshape-3D are still available on the internet to this day, as shown by this example published by NASA.

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5 August, 2010

Rarely do I get a feeling of déjà vu in my professional life, but in March of this year something I was shown gave me a flashback to the 1980s. Some people will remember those halcyon days of two decades ago when commercial CFD was still in its infancy. Way back then the big commercial CFD vendors (Fluent, CHAM, Fidap, Flomerics, STAR-CD, and AEA) would regularly bring out CFD Comparison Charts comparing their CFD software with all their major competitors, usually in the form of long technical feature lists. It was like a Cold War nuclear arms race within CFD – one vendor would claim to have a Reynolds Stress Turbulence Model, another vendor would claim to have a Renormalization Group k-e model, and so on, until codes were offering 20 or more turbulence models! It became counter-productive as the different codes’ unique selling points and specialist capabilities got lost amongst all the other statements. Read the rest of this entry »

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19 July, 2010

If you’re involved in CFD in education in any way this will be of interest to you. Since shortly after Flomerics were acquired by Mentor Graphics we’ve been working towards getting out products into Mentor’s Higher Education Program (HEP), and we’ve finally got it done.

To my knowledge, the availability of potentially millions of dollars worth of commercial CFD software, plus support and training, for around US$500 annually is unique in the CFD business, so this is something of a game changer. Here are the details:

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1 July, 2010

“Authorities in the US have instructed Sony to conduct a recall of its Vaio laptops, after problems with overheating were reported.” started this article on the BBC’s web site.

There is a saying, ” the news is never as good or as bad as it is first reported”. And so it is with this story. It’s not a product recall, as the story later goes on to explain, but what grabbed my attention was that the problem can be cured by an on-line firmware update. In my view that means it’s not a thermal problem at all. Rather it’s essentially a software fault of some sort that’s causing some part of the system to pull a lot more power than it was expected to during design, or needs to for the laptop to function normally.

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4 June, 2010

I’ve not posted for a while, which is rather remiss of me. I underestimated the response we would get to our Heatsink 201 webinar, which I gather was our most popular ever, and the number of questions that people would ask. I had around 120 questions, which after removing duplicates and those to do with logistics ended up at around 80, so it took a while to answer them all. I’ll select a couple of good ones and post them and my answers next time.

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19 April, 2010

I’ve been remiss in not posting for a couple of weeks, so I’m trying to get back in the saddle. I’ve been working on other things that have taken up a fair bit of time. One is a web seminar on heatsinks – Heatsink 201 – Even More about Heat Sinks which follows on from Alexandra Francois-Saint-Cyr’s very successful Heat Sink 101 web seminar.

Back in March I posted about IBM’s work on liquid cooling to take Moore’s Law to 2025. As a side note I observed that, one of the main benefits of liquid cooling in a data center is that the high grade waste heat generated can be used for heating purposes. This changes both the economics of deploying a liquid cooling solution and the environmental impact. The reason this is so important is that data centers are one of the fastest growing consumers of energy.

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1 April, 2010

Vladimír Székely

It was great to read that Dr. Vladimír Székely, has received the Dennis Gabor Award for Innovation for his work leading the team at MicReD on the development of the T3Ster (pronounced “trister”) technology. Congratulations Vladimír, it is richly deserved.

The Dennis Gabor (original Hungarian: Dénes Gábor) Award is Hungary’s highest technical honor, named after the Hungarian electrical engineer and inventor of holography, for which Gabor received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971. Dr. Székely is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has published around 400 technical papers and developed the mathematical background of the structure function based thermal transient methodology some 20 years ago.

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