Electronic Design

Simulation Software Eases Modeling Of Physical Events

Designers who need to model physical phenomena can take advantage of FEMLAB, an analysis package that models physical phenomena describable through partial differential equations. Heat transfer, fluid flow, electromagnetics, and structural mechanics all are modeled simultaneously through the same graphical user interface (GUI). First, designers quickly draw the geometries of a problem. Then, they create code that lets them do parametric analyses and design optimizations in hours instead of weeks.

By simply describing their problems through drawings, designers no longer need to enter long lines of involved equations. The GUI also can import DXF drawing files from popular CAD software, including AutoCAD and CATIA. Bundled into the package, a model library shows ready-to-run examples for common situations in multiple application areas. Therefore, users don't need expertise in mathematics or numerical analysis to succeed. They can construct a number of models just by drawing the physical qualities.

FEMLAB standard capabilities are extendible through simple script programming. Since it's open and built on top of Matlab, users can save models as Matlab programs or incorporate them into other products in the Matlab family. Additionally, the package's automatic code generation can convert a graphically derived physics model to a sequence of Matlab commands.

Shipping from stock, a single-user license for Windows costs $2995. FEMLAB is available for Unix, Solaris, Linux, AIX, HP-UX, and IRIX. It requires Matlab 5.3. Also, 128 Mbytes of RAM and 16-bit color graphics are recommended.

COMSOL Inc., 8 New England Executive Park, Ste. 310, Burlington, MA 01803; (781) 273-3322; fax (781) 273-6603; www.comsol.com, www.femlab.com.

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