Mentor claims thermal test and simulation breakthrough

Mentor Graphics claims to have combined technology for thermal characterisation and simulation for the first time.

The system effectively links together the firm’s T3Ster hardware test products and its FloTHERM electronics thermal simulation and analysis software.

“The interface between T3Ster and FloTHERM creates accurate thermal simulation models,” said John Isaac, director of market development in the system design division at Mentor Graphics. 

Isaac said there is increasing demand for thermal analysis of electronic products from the IC package to system level with the increased processing performance and smaller form-factors. 

Temperature is understood to be the key accelerator in the majority of reliability failures and so there is a need for accurate thermal data at all levels of a system’s implementation.

“But thermal analysis is only as good as the models you use and there has been a lack of good models, this system aims to address this,” said Isaac.

 The characterisation and simulation set -up is JESD51-14 compliant.

The new combined system effectively removes the need for manual and as Isaac says “error-prone” transfer of the measurement data to the thermal simulation software product.

According to Dr Erich Buergel, general manager of Mentor Graphics mechanical analysis division: “Creating accurate thermal models based on reliable thermal measurements helps users to identify design problems and to create design alternatives.”

Manufacturers will use the system to optimise their LED and IC package designs for effective heat dissipation.

“They can then characterise the prototype device from a thermal perspective and build accurate models for use in FloTHERM thermal software simulations at both the sub-system and full system levels,” said Buergel.

In the systems integration process designers will be able to confirm thermal simulations with physical measurements using the T3ster hardware.


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