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Integrated Device Technology (IDT)

Thermal simulation helps IDT increase revenues by avoiding late stage design changes that would otherwise delay product launches.

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Since we have begun simulating every new packaging configuration, we have never had to make a late-stage design change nor has any product been delayed for thermal performance reasons.”

Jitesh Shah, Advanced Packaging Engineer for IDT

In the past, when IDT relied upon physical testing to ensure thermal performance, 10% to 20% of initial packaging designs did not meet thermal specifications, delaying the product launch by a typical six weeks. Integrated Device Technology develops mixed signal semiconductor solutions primarily used in digital media products. Integrated Device Technology (IDT) previously relied upon physical testing to ensure the thermal performance of the approximately 50 new products with new packaging configurations that it launches every year. Making a major change, such as switching to a different package type, at this stage also typically added engineering time and tooling costs as well as additional testing.

More recently, IDT has begun simulating every new packaging configuration prior to physical testing with FloTHERM thermal simulation software. Using FloTHERM PACK (online package model creation tool) IDT can create a model of a new package in about 30 minutes. IDT engineers usually evaluate the thermal performance of several different packaging alternatives in order to identify a package configuration that best meets thermal, board real-estate, cost and other objectives.

The new process takes advantage of the detailed, two-resistor and Delphi modeling methods that make it possible to quickly produce a computationally efficient representation of a component’s thermal characteristics. IDT engineers model the proposed design by going to the FloTHERM PACK website and entering parameters to describe the IC package such as package type and size, lead or ball count, substrate cross-section, die size etc. The website generates a thermal model for the package that IDT engineers insert into a JEDEC standard environment that they have defined in FloTHERM.

The simulation results help us identify areas with high thermal resistances that offer opportunities for improving thermal performance. We can simulate a design alternative in only one day in the early stages of the design process so we have the opportunity to evaluate many different designs to optimize thermal performance. In many cases the simulation also provides insights that help us to improve the performance of the product. For example, we can easily see whether or not a heat spreader is needed to meet the thermal requirements of the application.”

Jitesh Shah, Advanced Packaging Engineer for IDT

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