Rather than building costly physical prototypes for thermal testing of its EMI products, Laird Technologies simulates initial concepts and optimizes new designs with Mentor Graphics FloTHERM thermal simulation software.
“FloTHERM… can simulate nearly any type of thermal solution. Most of our customers use it… and we can easily share models with them.”
Shahi Riaz, Thermal Design Engineer, Laird Technologies
Putting Combination Shields/heatsinks to the Test
Laird Technologies offers a popular line of integrated EMI shields/heatsinks for electronic devices. Laird engineers worked with an OEM customer to design a shield for the OEM’s application. When a FloTHERM simulation revealed that the initial concept allowed the heat source package temperature to exceed the maximum value of 90° C, the designer again turned to FloTHERM to automate the design optimization process.
Exploring the Design Space
Using FloTHERM, the Laird Technologies thermal engineer set up an optimization routine that varied parameters such as the number of heatsink fins, fin thickness, base thickness and more. Cost boundaries were applied implicitly by setting absolute limits on particular variables. The engineer explored the entire design space and reduced the package temperature by 13oC below the original level, bringing the device within the design guidelines.
Fast Results, Accurate Results
The design was optimized in only a few days compared to the weeks it would have taken to run iterations while changing one variable at a time.
When a hardware prototype was built, its thermal performance closely matched the simulation predictions. The thermal/EMI solution is now in manufacturing and customer feedback is very positive.
“We conduct preliminary... analysis using FloTHERM before any time and money goes into prototyping or production. This approach helps us integrate complex combination thermal management and EMI shielding products at the design level.”
About Laird Technologies
Laird Technologies designs and manufactures customized, performance-critical products for wireless and other advanced electronics applications. The company is a global market leader in electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding, thermal management products, mechanical actuation systems, signal integrity components, and wireless antenna solutions, as well as radio frequency (RF) modules and systems across a wide variety of industries including IT/telecommunication, medical, automotive, foodservice, consumer electronics, military/aerospace, and more.
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