Posts Tagged ‘electronics cooling’
What a wonderful expression this is … putting feathers in our caps. I looked up the origins of this phrase and found that in the days gone by people used to put a new feather in the headgear of warriors for every enemy they defeated in battle. And the more feathers in the headdress, the more victories and the better the warrior.
Our CFD battlefield is symbolic in nature but it exists nonetheless. And I’m proud to say that our headdress has gotten a few new feathers! The feathers I’m talking about are the awards bestowed by fellow engineers and members of the media to a software program. These awards are more than just pretty plumage … they recognize the hard work that goes into developing an idea into a practical tool.
So it is with pleasure that I’d like to announce that FloTHERM, the industry’s top electronics cooling solution has won three awards in almost as many months:
- The Design News Golden Mousetrap Award for Best Design Tools Product (US)– The editors at Design News evaluated hundreds of products in order to choose the top products within 4 categories: Electronics & Test, Automation & Control, Design Tools: Hardware & Software, and Materials & Assembly. This is the second year we’ve won the award (although last year it was awarded to FloEFD). As a result, we now have two gleaming awards hanging side-by-side in our lobby in Hampton Court.
- The EDN Hot 100 (US): EDN publishes a yearly list of 100 products and technologies that grabbed the attention of their editors and readers during the year. Again, this is the second year one of our products was selected for inclusion in the list — quite an honor.
- Elektronik Magazine’s Engineering Tools of the Year (Germany): the editors at Elektronik Magazine selected 111 products in 10 categories. Then the readers of the magazine selected the final winners from this list. The top award in the category was given to National Instruments for Labview, the second place went to Microsoft for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and the third place went to Mentor Graphics for FloTHERM. Considering that thermal simulation is usually considered as an exotic/specialist tool, winning alongside such generalist tools was truly an honor. To read more please follow this link (this link takes you to a German page so you may want to use Google translate if you’re not fully conversant in German).
Why all the excitement over FloTHERM? Because the latest version includes unique patent-pending technology: the Bottleneck and the Shortcut fields. The Bottleneck field shows areas in a design where a heat path is being congested as it attempts to flow from high junction temperature points to ambient. Design changes to these bottlenecks can help solve the heat flow problem. The Shortcut field highlights areas where the addition of a simple element to the design will provide a new effective heat flow path to ambient temperature. As a result, instead of experimenting with trial and error solutions, engineers can achieve a better solution significantly faster. If you still haven’t seen the Bottleneck or Shortcut fields in action, please feel free to watch this on-demand presentation Identifying Thermal Bottlenecks and Shortcut Opportunities at your leisure. I’m sure you’ll see why FloTHERM has gathered so much attention lately.
What do all these “feathers” mean to you? They mean that you too get to put these feathers in you cap simply by using the software. FloTHERM is not only the safest but also the wisest choice — it was developed specifically to deal with the unique needs of engineers working on electronics cooling problems and we haven’t become complacent. We continue to strive to provide you the best price performance in the market by offering unique technology to keep you a few steps ahead of your competition.
So wear your feathers proudly. You’ve earned them.
Until next time,
PS. Just wanted to give you a heads-up. We are starting to schedule User-2-User events specifically for users of FloEFD, FloTHERM, FloVENT and T3Ster/TERALED. These events will consist of technical training sessions; therefore, you should be able to put into practice what you learn at these sessions immediately. The U2U meetings will take place in England, France, Germany, US, China and Japan. We’ll announce the dates shortly and I do hope that you can join us at one of the events.
The first day of spring is almost upon us. It signals the beginning of my “smiley” days because I get to drive to and from work when it’s light outside. This year, the first day of spring also coincides with the first day of Semitherm. Semitherm which is being held in Santa Clara, California, is considered the premiere electronics cooling event in the world. Semitherm offers us a great opportunity to meet with customers (old, new and future alike) and learn some new skills.
As the leaders in the electronics cooling market, we are presenting several papers:
- A Heatsink Design Methodology using the Concepts of Thermal Bottlenecks and Shortcut Opportunities by Robin Bornoff – Tuesday March 22 at 11:50
- Advanced in CFD Modeling in Data Centers by Travis Mikjaniec– Wednesday March 23 at 8:40
- Issues of Testing AC LEDs by Andras Poppe – Thursday March 24 at 11:10
- New Level of Accuracy in TIM Measurements by Andris Vass Varnai – Thursday March 24 at 11:30
- How Temperature Affects OLEDs Operational Characteristics by Andras Poppe – Thursday March 24 at 12:10
All presenters are fantastic and experts in their fields so you’re sure to learn a few new things by attending these sessions. For additional information about each one of these sessions please refer to the Semitherm website (www.semi-therm.org).
I hope that you’ll join us for any and or all appropriate sessions. I also hope that you take the opportunity to stop by our booth and say hello. Would love to see your smiling faces too!
Until next time,
Call me jaded but there are times when I read new product press releases with a bit of trepidation – can the product really be new and improved? Or is it just a minor enhancement to existing functionality?
But from time to time you do come across some real gems.
- Optimized heatsink design with FloTHERM 9. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics.
Earlier this week we announced the release of FloTHERM 9 – the market leading CFD solution for electronics cooling applications. While FloTHERM has been around for a good many years, FloTHERM 9 includes some truly revolutionary new patent-pending technology. FloTHERM provides Bottleneck (Bn) and Shortcut (Sc) fields so engineers can identify not only where heat flow congestion occurs in the electronic design but also why!
The Bn and the Sc fields raise use of simulation from just an observation tool for identifying heat management problems to a proper problem-solving tool which can guide the designer by suggesting potential solutions. The Bn field highlights the congestion area in a design heat path; therefore, by making a design change to these bottleneck areas you can relieve the heat flow problem. The Sc field can highlight possible solutions where the addition of another element to the design yields even more effective paths for further cooling. By using these two new features, you can replace expensive “trial and error” iterations with a guided “what if” so you can solve heat management issues faster and more efficiently.
For the sake of brevity I won’t go into all the technical details … several articles have already been written about the technology and if you haven’t had a chance to read them, please feel free to read a handful here:
- A New Angle – Mentor’s New Approach to Keeping the Hot from Getting Hotter, IC Design and Verification Journal
- Technical brief: thermal bottlenecks and shortcut opportunities; innovations in electronics thermal design simulation, Electronics Cooling Magazine
- Industry’s first thermal analysis bottleneck and shortcut capabilities, MCAD Online
- Mentor Graphics talks about its new CFD analysis software and heat flow congestion in chip design, ELECTROIQ
If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about this truly unique technology, then I’d like to encourage you to attend a free online presentation on the technology and how it can be applied to everyday thermal design. The presentation, Identifying Thermal Bottlenecks and Shortcut Opportunities, will be held on November 3rd and will be broadcast live twice – 11 AM London time and 11 AM US Eastern time. For additional information or to register please click here. The presenter, Dr. Robin Bornoff, is the product manager for FloTHERM and is one of the experts behind the Bn and Sc technologies. He is an all around fantastic presenter and I’m sure you’ll find this session very interesting.
Until next time,
If you knew me well then you’d know that I have a special place in my heart for things that come in little turquoise boxes from a certain retailer. Actually, as an honorary magpie, I pretty much like anything shiny– even cars and gadgets. But I want to talk about another type of shiny thing in small packages. Today we’ll talk about high power electronic components.
A few days ago I ran into a very informative article by one of our customers and thought it made an excellent topic of discussion for us today. Founded in 1970, Thermacore Inc. specializes in the design and manufacturing of thermal management systems and components for a variety of OEM applications including military/aerospace, computer, transport and medical. In the article, they introduce a new heat spreader design. Heat spreaders offer an effective/economical means of transferring heat. The design discussed in the article is based on a vapor chamber assembly and is quite effective for conducting away heat– especially in a tight package. If you haven’t had a chance to read the article and would like to know more about it, please follow this link.
Designing any effective method of transferring heat is a challenge regardless of the size of the package – especially when you want to utilize fresh/ forward thinking design ideas. That’s why simulation is always a good way to test your ideas. Sometimes you can try new ideas using trial and error but sometimes you want something a bit more effortless. While we all recognize that FloTHERM is a de facto standard for electronics cooling applications, what we may not realize is that FloTHERM has some pretty cool functionality such as the Command Center. The Command Center offers nifty optimization tools to help you create better designs, faster. With the Command Center, you can optimize a wide range of things including heat sink design and fan/blower selection. You can even optimize for cost! If you haven’t had a chance to see Command Center in action, please watch an on-demand presentation titled: Using Command Center to Design. It is about 50 minutes long but it is well worth it. I still remember design optimization tools from the mid ‘90s that were pretty much ineffective (well, some were effective but required so much time and computing power that you’d be better-off setting up everything yourself). But the Command Center is pretty much a whole new ball game – another good thing that comes in a small package.
Until next time,
PS. I’m taking a rather short vacation to do the Tarka trail in north Devon next week. The trail consists of 180 miles of railway paths which have been converted to a cycling path. Should be fun. Speak with you when I get back — physically tired but mentally refreshed!
I come across a fair bit of industry research and I read it all. Unfortunately retrieving the information from my brain can be a bit problematic because my brain doesn’t think or store information in a linear fashion. So from time to time I find myself skimming the reports again just to remind myself of the information. These sessions are usually littered with my yelps of “that’s right” and “oh that’s interesting” (no doubt much to the annoyance of everyone else sitting around me in our open office). And sometimes when the information is really juicy I read it out loud to no one in particular and inevitably start a conversation chain reaction.
One of the conversation chain reactions was about PCB respins. Now my division has quite a pedigree in matters relating to electronics cooling so we have a lot of experts who’ve been there, done that and so to speak have not only read the book but in all likelihood they wrote it! But even this bit of information made everyone stand up and listen.
According to a 2007 Aberdeen Group survey, our customers (Mentor Mechanical Analysis customers) are 5 times more likely to respin their design only once with the rest of the industry averaging nearly 3 respins per design. So what this says to me is by using software tools such as FloTHERM and FloTHERM PCB, users can significantly reduce the number of design respins by dealing with mechanical thermal issues with simulation early on and get the product out to market faster (and less expensively if I might add). Wow … now that’s a secret I don’t mind spilling the beans on!
If you are a mechanical engineer and are curious about how you can reduce PCB respins, then I’d like to invite you to attend a free presentation titled Reducing PCB Respins. The presentation will take place on Wednesday February 24 and is open to everyone. The speaker is one of our product managers, Byron Blackmore. He is one of the electronics cooling gurus I mentioned earlier so he really knows what he’s talking about. I for one am really looking forward to hearing him speak on the topic because I always learn something new whenever I speak with him. Hope to see you there.
Until next time,
I’ve already admitted my love of cheesy sci-fi movies. The thing that always amazed me was the fact that despite traveling thousands of light-years from Earth, the intrepid explorers were always able to communicate with all sorts of exotic looking aliens whom they’d never encountered before in what else but English! Fantastic… if only real life was that easy.
Sometimes briefing meetings remind me of those alien encounters – except they don’t go as smoothly. I’ve sat in on a few meetings where the engineer offers a nice/succinct technical description of a problem only for it to get lost on the finance guy or the customer who controls the purse-strings. This is simply due to the fact that we speak different “languages” – what may be perfectly clear to a technical audience may be complete gobbledygook for the non-techie.
Now some people have learned how to speak each other’s language but for the rest of us there is a rather simple solution. One of the things that we can universally relate to is the ability to look at pictures or animations and grasp the idea behind it easily. I guess I can even go as far as saying that pictures/movies are sort of a universal translator …something that can help improve communication between engineers and their non-technical managers or customers.
In our ever vigilant pursuit of providing the best return on software investment to the engineering community and to remove this communication barrier, we have chosen to provide a free copy of our FloVIZ visualization software to everyone who needs it. FloVIZ can be used to open and view files of any size as long as they were originally created with FloTHERM (the de facto standard in the industry for electronics cooling applications), FloTHERM.PCB (a great tool for accelerating the conceptual thermal design of PCBs) and FloVENT (the powerful CFD software for predicting airflow, heat transfer, contamination distribution in and around buildings of all types and sizes including data centers).
There is no charge for downloading and using FloVIZ and it is not hampered by any time limits. The download file is quite small (about 60 MB) so you can download it and use it immediately. To obtain a free copy of FloVIZ please follow this link and start using your universal translator today.
Until next time,
About CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors
Technology for technology sake doesn’t make sense in this economy. So to help you gather ROI information for your management team, my blog will focus on the business side of simulation. I’ll share how design engineers using CFD have improved product functionality across a wide range of industries and applications while shortening their time to market cost-effectively. And to add a bit of spice, I’ll feature “state of the union” interviews with industry pundits on a regular basis.
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