Electronic Design

Thermal Tool Models At Board Level

Version 4.1 of Flomerics’ FLO/PCB thermal design software sports the ability to model potting compounds, probe temperature values interactively, provide user-defined temperature ranges, and search component libraries. The tool performs board-level thermal simulation very early in the design process, which can help identify potential thermal issues when it’s relatively painless to resolve them.

The tool also includes a new SmartPart object used to represent epoxy-type, solid, cured potting compounds. It can be placed over all or part of either side of the PCB. Multiple (non-overlapping) potting compound regions can be defined. Any material in the resin’s material library supplied with the software can also be employed, or the user can define the properties with the potting compound’s material property sheet.

The new version also makes it possible to move the cursor over a temperature plot in the results visualization mode and report the point temperature. The legend scaling options were enhanced so that users can define minimum and maximum values for the upper and lower bounds of the scale. The minimum and maximum values can also be derived from the coldest and hottest objects in the simulation results.

In addition, Version 4.1 includes an advanced search capability for the component library. Users typically save components that they create into a library, from which they can be recalled and quickly placed into a new board design.

FLO/PCB Version 4.1 has also been updated to maintain bidirectional connectivity with Version 7.1 of Flotherm, Flomerics’ system-level thermal modeling tool. For example, the same PCB design that’s used to create a FLO/PCB model can be incorporated into a system-level model in Flotherm. This saves time for the mechanical engineer in updating the system level model, if necessary, while reducing the chance of errors caused by miscommunication.

The results from the systems level analysis can also be exported directly to the board-level simulation, which allows the board designer to apply the air flow and temperatures from the system-level simulation to the board being designed. This approach keeps all team members in sync and enables them to contribute to concept development in real time.

For pricing and delivery information, contact Flomerics directly.



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