Power Electronics
Simulation Tool Enables Fast, Accurate Thermal Analysis

Simulation Tool Enables Fast, Accurate Thermal Analysis

Future Facilities has announced an update to 6SigmaET, an easy-to-learn thermal simulation tool for use by designers of electronic components and products. Release 9 of 6SigmaET integrates a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) solver that can radically speed up thermal simulation, as well as introducing a number of enhancements to the tool's functionality and user interface.

Thermal simulation is a tool that allows engineers to assess the thermal performance of their designs and efficiently manage the heat generated by electronic components and assemblies. A better understanding of the temperature distribution in an electronic system can be used to fine-tune designs and enable the creation of products that are ever smaller and more reliable. The technology can also significantly cut product development time by reducing design iterations and ensuring that a final product operates within its required thermal parameters, enhancing operating life and reliability.

Simulation can also enable significant cost savings and return-on-investment for OEMs and developers. For example, it can reduce project delays and negate the need to redesign product enclosures and PCBs. Similarly, by discovering thermal problems before product release, simulation reduces the likelihood of product recalls. In summary, simulation can prove the differentiator between a successful and timely release to market, and a missed opportunity.

To be made ready for thermal simulation, component or system models are represented as a mesh of grid cells created from intelligent modelling objects, CAD models and PCB layout information. However, there are many ways to generate a suitable grid and its quality and resolution is crucial to achieving an accurate solution. Depending on available computational hardware resources, engineers will often need to alter the resolution of the grid manually to focus on the thermally significant parts of the design, which can be a time consuming and complex process.

6SigmaET Release 9, however, incorporates a grid and solver that is completely different from competitive solutions: the tool provides a novel way to remove the burden of having to manually optimize the grid by navigating the trade-off between computing performance and grid detail to provide optimum accuracy and performance. The powerful parallel solver within Release 9 delivers groundbreaking performance, handling complex geometries and providing accurate and sophisticated simulations, potentially in minutes.

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