Intelligent Thermal Models
Models that range in scale from single ICs on a PCB to full racks of electronics are assembled quickly from a complete set of SmartParts (intelligent model creation macros) that are supplied with FloTHERM from a large list of suppliers from around the globe. SmartParts capture modeling expertise to streamline model creation, minimize solve times and maximize solution accuracy.
Thermo Electric Cooler (TEC) SmartPart functionality is also supported by FloTHERM. By adding a TEC you can control the temperature so the specified component doesn’t get hotter than the predefined maximum for your design. Also, the Fan RPM Derating feature supports the operation of an electronic device at less than its rated maximum power while taking into consideration the case or body temperature, ambient temperature and the type of cooling mechanism used.
MCAD and EDA Integration
FloTHERM features the industry’s best solution for integration with MCAD and EDA software. Native data from Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, CATIA and other MCAD and EDA software can be imported into FloTHERM. Unlike other thermal analysis software, FloTHERM automatically prepares the geometry for efficient and accurate analysis.
EDA interfacing is achieved by import of the IDF format as well as direct interfaces to Expedition PCB, BoardStation, Allegro and CR5000.
Use of a Robust Structured Cartesian Mesher Minimizes Solution Time
The FloTHERM grid is based on a structured-Cartesian method -- the most stable and numerically efficient type of grid available. The ability to localize the grid is also included for finer resolution where it is needed, minimizing solution time and improving accuracy in grid quality. The grid in FloTHERM is associated with SmartParts and is generated as part of the model assembly process with refinement under user control. This intuitive and straightforward methodology enables engineers to focus on design rather than analysis. Gridding is instantaneous and reliable in FloTHERM in comparison to other tools that require significant time and expertise to master. Finally, FloTHERM is the only analysis software with object-associated grid that eliminates re-gridding for each model modification.
SmartPart-based modeling and structured cartesian grid enable a feature called “automatic sequential optimization” that is unique to FloTHERM. This allows users to specify a design goal and then let FloTHERM do the hard work of finding the right combination of design variables that meet the goal. Common applications of this feature include optimization for heatsink design, PCB component placement, fan/blower selection and other common design scenarios.
Automatic sequential optimization enables engineers to find design margin or production cost savings that were impractical in the past. As an alternative to automatic sequential optimization, a design of experiments (DoE) can be constructed that will automatically analyze the full range of all possible combinations of parametric variations. These models can be solved on a distributed network of computers using the unique “Volunteer” solution technology.
For over 15 years, the FloTHERM solver has specifically addressed electronics cooling applications. The solver results in the most accurate results possible and offers the fastest solution time per grid cell. Massive disparity in geometric length scales are resolved using the unique ‘localized-grid’ technique, which allows for integrally matched, nested, non-conformal grid interfaces between different parts of the solution domain.
The conjugate nature of heat transfer within electronic systems is concurrently solved using a preconditioned conjugate residual solver together with a flexible cycle multi-grid solution technique. Pragmatic, unique and accurate solution termination criteria produce useful results in engineering, not academic, time scales.
Powerful Visualization Tools
The FloTHERM visualization toolset is developed specifically to maximize productivity for sharing the results of your design and analysis for your electronics cooling projects. Fully rendered models, 3D flow animation and tools for dynamic manipulation of temperature, and flow results, enable engineers to pinpoint thermal issues and visualize design improvements quickly and effectively. Texture mapping and AVI output enable communication of thermal-design concepts with non-technical colleagues. Most recently thermal Bottleneck (Bn) and Shortcut (Sc) post processing parameters have been added to allow engineers to visualize existing thermal bottlenecks and any opportunities to insert a new heat flow path in order to shortcut the heat to cooler areas.