By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
So I was doing some yard work and, in some sort of convulsion of clear thinking, I took my iPhone out of my pocket and put it on a rock to avoid it falling onto a rock and getting messed up. There it sat tanning in the sun for a couple of hours. When I retrieved the thing, it had some sort of message saying it was too hot and could not be used at the time. This got me thinking about electronics I’ve despised because they did not need to bake in the sun to get funky because of heat-flow problems. Designing the right heat sinks, ventilation, and other cooling schemes is not the easiest job to do. It just might have gotten easier with the introduction of some new technologies in FloTHERM 9 from Mentor Graphics.
FloTHERM CFD software predicts airflow and heat transfer in and around electronic equipment. You can use it for components, boards, and full systems. It has a long and well-regarded history.
Mentor Graphics just announced some enhancements to FloTHERM, two of which it describes as “patent-pending” technologies. First, FloTHERM 9 now provides what the company calls Bottleneck (Bn) fields. The second technology is what are called Shortcut (Sc) fields. These things work together and, from the sounds of it, they’ll make the designer’s job easier and more efficient.
Now, what happens is that Bn field identifies where and why heat flow congestion in your design happens. Those are your bottlenecks. Then, the Sc field identifies shortcuts that could solve your design’s heat flow bottlenecks. That is, it suggests ways you can fix your problem. So, instead of getting an analysis that shows you something is awry and then leaving you to fiddle with the design to see if a change here or there solves the problem, you get smart suggestions about how you can rectify the situation.
Pardon the pun, but that sounds cool.
You can read more about these and other enhancements to FloTHERM in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. This seems to be a really a good one. Give it a look.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering