FloTHERM Heatsink

Heatsink 101

Electronics performance is directly related to the operating temperature of the IC device and heatsinks are an effective method to manage IC temperatures. They use conduction, convection and sometimes radiation to enhance the heat transfer from an IC device to a cooler fluid.

A heatsink’s thermal performance is dependent on the system and should be designed for the specific environment. In addition to providing useful correlations for sizing a heatsink a detailed heatsink system level optimization is discussed.

Heatsink 201

Passive heatsinks are commonly used to manage IC component operating temperatures in forced convection environments. Though vendors provide heatsink performance data, the actual performance is dependent on the system and should be designed for the specific environment.

Heatsink design with airflow bypass is compared with ducted flow. The methodology of heatsink characterization, the relative importance of thermal conductivity, and CFD based heatsink optimization is discussed. A board level heatsink design using CFD with various monolithic heatsink designs will also be presented.

Fans 101 - An Introduction to Fans in Electronics Cooling Applications

During this presentation, we will discuss three fan types typical in electronics cooling applications; centrifugal, radial and axial. We will explain how fan curves are experimentally determined and how that is represented in FloTHERM and FloTHERM XT. FloTHERM XT will be used to explicitly model the rotating fan blades in a system level model. Engineers involved in board and chassis design would find this session very educational.

Also, FloTHERM XT’s rotating geometry feature will be demonstrated to accurately determine flow distribution in a system level model.

FloTHERM XT - Compressing the Thermal Design Process

Thermal design software has become a standard operating procedure for today’s electronics design. To develop the most accurate thermal models the ability to leverage MCAD and ECAD data is a requirement but historically has represented a significant time investment. 80% of the time in the typical thermal design process is spent before there are any thermal model results.

FloTHERM XT’s CAD-centric approach greatly reduces the need for ‘cleaning’ or simplifying MCAD data. FloTHERM XT’s interoperability with PCB design flows reduces time-consuming data translation and costly errors. FloTHERM XT’s SmartCells™ based mesh is a proven and robust technology that captures complex features with small and large length scales present in typical thermal designs.

To illustrate the thermal design process and associated time savings associated with FloTHERM XT a design using the BeagleBone Black board is demonstrated.