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PCB Thermal Design
Complete PCB thermal design verification almost 3-times faster

Mechanical engineers are turning to Mentor’s PCB thermal analysis software to facilitate collaboration and ensure thermal problems are solved before concept commit, leading to the drastic reduction in late-cycle rework.

If components need to be moved to improve thermal performance or allow space for heatsink attachment, a board re-spin will be required. Experience suggests that re-spin will follow re-spin unless thermal design is considered up-front.

Companies that use Mentor’s PCB thermal analysis software have been independently found to complete thermal design verification almost 3-times faster than those that don’t.

PCB thermal analysis software streamlines concept development of printed-circuit boards while ensuring good thermal design and accelerating the PCB design process. It promotes a conceptual design process that is derived from the functional block diagram.

Changes made to the functional block diagram are instantly reflected in the physical layout and thermal representations thereby keeping all team members in sync. The result is pre-optimized concepts in less time and drastic reductions in late-cycle rework as all issues are solved before concept commit.

PCB Thermal Design Simulation Benefits:

  • Minimize risk of multiple board “re-spins” due to thermal problems
  • Understand the thermal behavior of your designs with powerful visualization tools
  • Address major inefficiencies in the PCB design process

Application Examples

PCB Thermal Design

Surface temperatures on an a populated circuit board showing high temperatures associated with the packages fitted with extruded heat sinks.

Flow vectors show high flow upstream of the components and between components. Flow is reduced by the blocking effect of the heat sinks which cause a wake in the downstream flow.

PCB Thermal Design

Detailed descriptions of the layer stack-up and metallic distribution allow for accurate prediction of conductive heat flow within the PCB substrate. This is critical for conduction cooled designs or where cooling is performed by natural convection, e.g. without the aid of fans.

Galileo Avionica Standardizes on FloTHERM Software

Galileo Avionica selected FloTHERM and FloTHERM PCB software as its standard thermal modeling software across all of its seven design centers and five business units.

“Our evaluation showed that FloTHERM and FloTHERM PCB thermal simulation software can save time in modeling while integrating the design process to a higher degree than other tools”.

Fabio Vitale, Manager of Galileo Avionica’s Design Centers Project

Anritsu Company Saves 4-6 Week PCB Re-Spin by Thermal Modeling in Early Design Stage

Anritsu Company reduced the time required to develop communications test solutions by 4 to 6 weeks, eliminating a printed circuit board (PCB) re-spin. This was achieved by modeling thermal management at the board and systems level during the early design process.

In the past, Anritsu engineers were not able to address thermal issues at the board level until the prototype stage when physical testing was performed.

“Now we use FloTHERM PCB software to optimize component placement before prototyping. The result is that no additional prototypes have been required for thermal reasons since this method has been used.”

Teresa Whiting, Mechanical Design Engineer for Anritsu

Texas Instruments Speeds Disk Drive Time to Market

Texas Instruments (TI) engineers helped a disk drive manufacturer get their product to market 6 months early by using thermal simulation to solve problems prior to the prototyping phase.

The potential thermal problems centered on a disk brake integrated circuit (IC) that consumed 9 watts. The challenge was optimizing the package design to move this heat out to the PCB and then moving as much of this heat as possible to the chassis.

“Using traditional build-and-test methods it would have probably taken a year to identify a design that maintained junction temperatures at or below specifications. Instead, long before the prototype stage, we began simulating alternative printed circuit board approaches and so we were able to optimize the design from a thermal standpoint in only 6 months.”

Frank Mortan, Packaging Engineer for TI

PCB Thermal Design Design Tools

In use by 75 of the top 100 electronics companies in the world, FloTHERM® is a powerful 3D computational fluid dynamics software that predicts airflow and heat transfer in and around electronic equipment,... FloTHERM®

FloTHERM XT is an industry unique thermal simulation solution designed to be used during all stages of the electronics design process – from conceptual design to manufacturing, improving product quality,... FloTHERM® XT

FloTHERM PCB is a radical new collaboration tool for product marketing, electrical and mechanical engineers that accelerates the conceptual thermal design of printed-circuit boards. FloTHERM® PCB

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