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Why Electronics Designers Don’T Use Thermal Simulation


Given the complexity of today's devices, performing precise thermal simulations during design is a crucial step in the product development workflow.Thermal simulation offers the possibility to know the temperature profile of a chip before it is even sent to production. Integrating thermal simulation into your next circuit design workflow can greatly improve accuracy, increase efficiency, and help make your product more reliable.

Sadly, there are still many cases where cooling is seen as an obscure art rather than a science. Although electronics are now smaller than ever, it can be difficult to perform precise thermal analyses.
Why Electronics Designers Don’T Use Thermal Simulation

Employ Smart Thermal Simulation Software

It has long been known that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has a lot to offer when it comes to predicting the thermal properties of a system.CFD is one of the most powerful tools for thermal simulation in the electronics industry.

It was designed with considerable automation and built-in intelligence to support thermal management from the outset, rather than trying to do so afterward. The main driver of a system to achieve this functionality is its thermal design, and this poses a significant challenge.
Why Electronics Designers Don’T Use Thermal Simulation

Explore Ten-Tech Application

To overcome this, TEN-TECH used a special thermal simulation tool throughout its entire design process. The software's thermal CFD analysis made it possible to understand the flow and focus of the design to maximize cooling and minimize pressure losses.

In total, the 40 million simulation mesh cells covered a total area of 1.5 million square feet of solid-state modeling space. The big model is the additional complexity of being able to model solids, whether it is a liquid-cooled - or a liquid high-pressure system. The use of a combination of thermal simulation tools, such as the thermal CFD tool from TEN-TECH, provides a much more accurate and precise representation of the liquid and gas flow in a solid.

In this paper, we will explore how thermal problems in products, including component reliability and PCB performance, can be overcome using a combination of solid-state modeling and TEN-TECH thermal simulation tools. Cooling accurately predicts the thermal performance of a printed circuit board (PCB) and its components. We perform modeling, thermal simulation, and analysis to compare the performance and reliability of various board types, such as cavity-filled, liquid-cooled, liquid, and high-pressure systems.

Why Electronics Designers Don’T Use Thermal Simulation

Future Thermal Simulation Electronics Products

EDAs and MCAD design flows are determined by the complexity of the design, and this puts pressure on thermal designers to use native geometries and systems for simplification to keep design specifications up to date, minimize time spent analyzing design variants and increase the accuracy of results.

In addition, thermal simulation software that supports different types of designers must support a wide range of different types of construction, such as mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineers, as it is at a late stage of verification. These changes affect the requirements for engineers and the underlying CFD technology due to the complexity of the design and the need for high - fast, low - latency simulation.

Dr. Clark has been working intensively with electronic cooling since the mid-1980s and has been active in the field of thermal simulation as well as the design and engineering of cooling electronics for over 30 years.

Why Electronics Designers Don’T Use Thermal Simulation

The Importance of Thermal Design

By building a thermal model of the tablet, we were able to evaluate alternative thermal management techniques at the time and at the expense of a physical prototype. With the scSTREAM, we investigated the thermal effects of tablets that use forced convection to cool components with a blower that conducts the airflow. To validate the model, we compared the heat distribution on the tablets with infrared images.

What promotes future facilities is the need to create thermal simulations already in the design and concept phase, and not only in the early stages of product development.

By creating simulations based solely on the conceptual circuit board, it is possible to get a good idea of whether a mechanical housing will be able to dissipate the correct amount of heat under certain environmental conditions. These simulations can help to create the first specifications for a project, as mechanical engineers and electronics engineers do, and can be performed as soon as they receive their CAD package somewhere near their computer. CAD data can then be fed into the model to develop the electronics and mechanical design.


For electronics applications, Floefd's Electronics Cooling Module offers thermal simulation capabilities that are specifically tailored to mechanical engineers who encounter electronic cooling in product development, among other design challenges, and need this capability without having to live in an MCAD development environment for consistency and productivity reasons. PICLS (from Software Cradle) is a real-time thermal simulation software program that creates thermal simulations of electronic components and their associated parts with minimal effort. It is unique in that it is an embedded solution and is thus fully integrated into the mechanical design and engineering workflow.