Power Electronics

Frontier Silicon, Atlantic Technology and Flomerics Overcome Thermal Design Challenges

Frontier Silicon has produced a new, single-chip solution for multimedia applications. During the development of the chip, Frontier approached Flomerics and Atlantic Technology to produce an engineering solution to its exact requirements. Flomerics performed rapid thermal simulations to assess the thermal performance of the package, assist in heat sink selection, optimize board layout, and verify that the operating environment would not compromise the long-term reliability of the device.

From the project’s start, Frontier Silicon worked with contract manufacturers Atlantic Technology to package the new system-on-chip solution into a standard ball grid array (BGA) package. The major design constraints were the small size and shape of the enclosure, aesthetic considerations with regard to venting, and strict temperature limits for the critical components.

Atlantic Technology and Frontier Silicon turned to Flomerics, who used its thermal simulation software, Flotherm, to create a highly detailed thermal model of the BGA, while simultaneously modeling the airflow and temperature in the complete system, including the effects of restricted airflow within a typical domestic environment. The latest version of Flotherm includes a new localized-grid capability, which allows regions of extremely dense computational mesh (e.g., around the critical device) to be combined with a much coarser mesh outside for faster processing. This new feature was particularly useful in this case, enabling a very detailed analysis of heat flow paths in and around the critical BGA.

For more information, visit www.flomerics.com.

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