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Good Things in Little Packages

Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye

Posted Aug 19, 2010

If you knew me well then you’d know that I have a special place in my heart for things that come in little turquoise boxes from a certain retailer. Actually, as an honorary magpie, I pretty much like anything shiny– even cars and gadgets. But I want to talk about another type of shiny thing in small packages.  Today we’ll talk about high power electronic components.

A few days ago I ran into a very informative article by one of our customers and thought it made an excellent topic of discussion for us today.  Founded in 1970, Thermacore Inc. specializes in the design and manufacturing of thermal management systems and components for a variety of OEM applications including military/aerospace, computer, transport and medical. In the article, they introduce a new heat spreader design. Heat spreaders offer an effective/economical means of transferring heat. The design discussed in the article is based on a vapor chamber assembly and is quite effective for conducting away heat– especially in a tight package.  If you haven’t had a chance to read the article and would like to know more about it, please follow this link.

Designing any effective method of transferring heat is a challenge regardless of the size of the package – especially when you want to utilize fresh/ forward thinking design ideas.  That’s why simulation is always a good way to test your ideas. Sometimes you can try new ideas using trial and error but sometimes you want something a bit more effortless. While we all recognize that FloTHERM is a de facto standard for electronics cooling applications, what we may not realize is that FloTHERM has some pretty cool functionality such as the Command Center.  The Command Center offers nifty optimization tools to help you create better designs, faster. With the Command Center, you can optimize a wide range of things including heat sink design and fan/blower selection. You can even optimize for cost!  If you haven’t had a chance to see Command Center in action, please watch an on-demand presentation titled: Using Command Center to Design. It is about 50 minutes long but it is well worth it. I still remember design optimization tools from the mid ‘90s that were pretty much ineffective (well, some were effective but required so much time and computing power that you’d be better-off setting up everything yourself). But the Command Center is pretty much a whole new ball game – another good thing that comes in a small package.

Until next time,

PS. I’m taking a rather short vacation to do the Tarka trail in north Devon next week. The trail consists of 180 miles of railway paths which have been converted to a cycling path. Should be fun. Speak with you when I get back — physically tired but mentally refreshed!

Command Center, Thermacore, heat spreader

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About Nazita Saye

Nazita SayeI have been involved with the CFD user community in one shape or another since 1999 -- when the NIKA team first introduced FloWorks to the engineering community. Over the years I've seen the market evolve and I still marvel at the wide range of products that are being designed with our tools. As the Manager of External Communications for the Mechanical Analysis Division at Mentor, it is my privilege to bring some of our customer stories to you. Visit CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

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