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FloTHERM

Proven, industry-leading CFD software for Electronics Cooling applications from the thermal analysis leaders.

FloTHERM, wins 2011 Design News Golden Mousetrap award for Best Design Tools Product. Read more

Mentor Graphics Concurrent CFD analysis software FloTHERM, wins 2010 EDN award for Best Product. Read more

Overview

FloTHERM® is powerful 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software that predicts airflow and heat transfer in and around electronic equipment, from components and boards up to complete systems.

World leader in thermal analysis

FloTHERM enables engineers to create virtual models of electronic equipment, perform thermal analysis, and test design modifications quickly and easily before any physical prototypes are built.

FloTHERM uses advanced CFD techniques to predict airflow, temperature, and heat transfer in components, boards, and complete systems.

With a 98% user recommendation rating, FloTHERM is the undisputed world leader for electronics thermal analysis and has more users, application examples, libraries and published white papers than all others.

Features and Benefits

Intelligent Thermal Models

Models that range in scale from single ICs on a PCB to full racks of electronics are assembled quickly from a complete set of SmartParts (intelligent model creation macros) that are supplied with FloTHERM from a large list of suppliers from around the globe. SmartParts capture modeling expertise to streamline model creation, minimize solve times and maximize solution accuracy.

Thermo Electric Cooler (TEC) SmartPart functionality is also supported by FloTHERM. By adding a TEC you can control the temperature so the specified component doesn’t get hotter than the predefined maximum for your design. Also, the Fan RPM Derating feature supports the operation of an electronic device at less than its rated maximum power while taking into consideration the case or body temperature, ambient temperature and the type of cooling mechanism used.

Automatic Optimization

SmartPart-based modeling and structured cartesian grid enable a feature called “automatic sequential optimization” that is unique to FloTHERM. This allows users to specify a design goal and then let FloTHERM do the hard work of finding the right combination of design variables that meet the goal. Common applications of this feature include optimization for heatsink design, PCB component placement, fan/blower selection and other common design scenarios.

Automatic sequential optimization enables engineers to find design margin or production cost savings that were impractical in the past. As an alternative to automatic sequential optimization, a design of experiments (DoE) can be constructed that will automatically analyze the full range of all possible combinations of parametric variations. These models can be solved on a distributed network of computers using the unique “Volunteer” solution technology.

Localized Version Support

Localized versions supported: Japanese for Visual Editor and FloVIZ.

Windows 7 Support

FloTHERM is now fully supported on Windows 7.

MCAD and EDA Integration

FloTHERM features the industry's best solution for integration with MCAD and EDA software. With the FloMCAD Bridge module, native data from Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, CATIA and other MCAD and EDA software can be imported into FloTHERM. Unlike other thermal analysis software, FloTHERM automatically prepares the geometry for efficient and accurate analysis.

EDA interfacing is achieved by import of the IDF format as well as direct interfaces to Xpedition PCB, BoardStation, Allegro and CR5000.

Finely-tuned Solver

For over 25 years, the FloTHERM solver has specifically addressed electronics cooling applications. The solver results in the most accurate results possible and offers the fastest solution time per grid cell. Massive disparity in geometric length scales are resolved using the unique ‘localized-grid’ technique, which allows for integrally matched, nested, non-conformal grid interfaces between different parts of the solution domain.

The conjugate nature of heat transfer within electronic systems is concurrently solved using a preconditioned conjugate residual solver together with a flexible cycle multi-grid solution technique. Pragmatic, unique and accurate solution termination criteria produce useful results in engineering, not academic, time scales, with good scaling up to 32 cores for multi-core hardware.

Integration with Mechanical Stress Tools

New in FloTHERM Version 10 is the ability to export temperature data to use as a thermal load in a mechanical stress (finite element) simulation. Key to this is in the interpolation from FloTHERM cell temperature values onto an arbitrary FEA mesh. This is done using a 3rd party mapping software MpCCI FSI Mapper from Fraunhofer SCAI.

Use of a Robust Structured Cartesian Mesher Minimizes Solution Time

The FloTHERM grid is based on a structured-Cartesian method -- the most stable and numerically efficient type of grid available. The ability to localize the grid is also included for finer resolution where it is needed, minimizing solution time and improving accuracy in grid quality. The grid in FloTHERM is associated with SmartParts and is generated as part of the model assembly process with refinement under user control. This intuitive and straightforward methodology enables engineers to focus on design rather than analysis. Gridding is instantaneous and reliable in FloTHERM in comparison to other tools that require significant time and expertise to master. Finally, FloTHERM is the only analysis software with object-associated grid that eliminates re-gridding for each model modification.

Powerful Visualization Tools

The FloTHERM visualization toolset is developed specifically to maximize productivity for sharing the results of your design and analysis for your electronics cooling projects. Fully rendered models, 3D flow animation and tools for dynamic manipulation of temperature, and flow results, enable engineers to pinpoint thermal issues and visualize design improvements quickly and effectively. Texture mapping and AVI output enable communication of thermal-design concepts with non-technical colleagues. Most recently thermal Bottleneck (Bn) and Shortcut (Sc) post processing parameters have been added to allow engineers to visualize existing thermal bottlenecks and any opportunities to insert a new heat flow path in order to shortcut the heat to cooler areas. A complimentary, full-functional version of the post-processor which can be used for easy “off-site” results presentation is available with the FloVIZ Viewer.

Explore FloTHERM

Interfacing – Xpedition PCB

There is now a direct interface to Xpedition PCB that can extract all data required for a complete PCB thermal model including board shape, layout, stack-up and detailed description of metallic distribution. This functionality can be exported into a FloEDA file for subsequent import into FloEDA Bridge. This latest update compliments the existing direct interfaces to BoardStation, CR5000 and Allegro.

Watch a short video on the interface

Interfacing – XML formats

Previously available separately but now available installed is the ability to import project and geometry data in a new XML format. This functionality enables better external model creation by user written scripts, and can automate a number of frequent geometry creation tasks. An IcePak to XML converter is also available.

Usability – Transient Model Definition

Updates to the transient model definition are significant starting with the consolidation of all set-up dialogs into the single [Model/Transient] dialog. Other timesaving features include the automatic creation and naming of time patches based on the key point time grid, single edits to multiple time patches and populate save times steps with every Nth step. Also added are the abilities to highlight selected time patches on the time step distribution plot, a display of transient functions overlaid on time step distribution plot and a warning message issued when a material attribute is present with specific heat or density values set at the default of 1.0.

Usability – Shift Select

In the latest version of FloTHERM there are a lot of timesaving functional updates. Another one of these updates is the ability to simultaneously select objects of differing type. Also, a shift select ability is now available in the Project Manager to quickly select multiple objects.

Modeling – Power as a non-linear function of Temperature

Power and temperature are often strongly coupled in electronic devices. In FloTHERM, this is now an extension of the source attribute and can be manually defined or imported in a .csv file. One area where this will be most influential is to reflect temperature dependent leakage effects at sub-90nm scales.

Post Processing – Bottleneck (Bn) and Shortcuts (Sc)

Created internally and not available in any other CFD code, two new post processing scalar fields have been added to the [Model/Modeling] dialog. These two new fields are called the Bottleneck (Bn) and Shortcut (Sc) numbers. The Bn parameter indicates where thermal bottlenecks exist in a model. By relieving those bottlenecks the model should have reduced source (component) temperature rises. Second, the Sc parameter indicates where there is an opportunity to insert a new heat flow patch in order to shortcut the heat to cooler areas; again, reducing sources temperature increases.

Datasheets and Resources

Industry Applications

Unlike other thermal simulation software, FloTHERM is an industry-specific thermal analysis tool designed for a wide range of electronic applications such as:

Success Stories

Valeo

Valeo uses FloTHERM® to quickly and accurately ensure the reliability of an electronic motor control unit governing the speed of an engine-cooling fan. View Success Story

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation

Thermal Simulation Reduces IC Cost by Comparing Flip-Chip/Wire Bond Thermal Performance

AMCC’s new integrated circuit achieves the highest performance to price ratio of any product in its class thanks to FloTHERM® thermal simulation software. View Success Story

FloTHERM Training

We have training courses available for FloTHERM in our training centers around the world, online, or at your site.

Blogs

Future World

CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

One of my recent social media feeds hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend. “Yesterday belongs to the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present” (Bill…View Blog Post

FREE Exhibition at SEMI-THERM 30 Conference, San Jose March 9-13

John Parry’s Blog

SEMI-THERM is one of the premier thermal management conferences and has the most targeted exhibition by far, with some 40+ exhibitors, including Mentor Graphics as Platinum Sponsor, so it’s a great place…View Blog Post

System Requirements

Windows 32 bit

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions)
  • Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions)
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard and Enterprise editions
  • Windows Server 2008, Standard and Enterprise editions

Hardware requirements:

  • x86-compatible Intel or AMD processor, minimum 1GHz Pentium III
  • 512 MB system memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended
  • Graphics card with OpenGL support, minimum 64 MB memory and minimum XGA screen resolution (1024 x 768)

Windows 64 bit

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions)
  • Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 edition
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 editions (Standard and Enterprise)
  • Windows Server 2008 x64 editions (Standard and Enterprise)

Hardware requirements:

  • 64-bit capable AMD processor or an Intel processor with EM64T
  • 512 MB system memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended
  • Graphics card with OpenGL support minimum 64 MB memory and minimum XGA screen resolution (1024 x 768)

Linux , 32 bit (x86)

Supported operating systems:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Linux , 64 bit (x64)

Supported operating systems:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (32 bit support)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Hardware requirements:

  • x86-compatible processor
  • 512 MB system memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended
 
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