Banish PCB Thermal Problems with State-of-the-art Thermal Simulation


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There are so many things to consider when designing a PCB that oversights happen easily. One crucial area that can be overlooked is the thermal design. We've all heard about electronics devices overheating…

As if that's not enough, design requirements are often contradictory. So, the best PCB layout for signal integrity is often the worst for thermal design. In the end, getting a good design that also boasts robust thermal performance is a tough ask.

But we're here to help. Our award-winning thermal simulation tool – 6SigmaET – gives you a unique visual representation of the temperature and airflow. And that allows you to optimize your designs so that they are 'right' before you even consider physical prototyping.

This presentation is intended for designers with little or no thermal design experience: we'll teach you how to simply and easily integrate thermal simulation in to your design process. We'll also demonstrate how 6SigmaET reduces the risk of design mistakes, helps you push the boundaries of your own design skills, enables innovation, and saves your company both time and money.

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  • Intro – Tom Gregory 6SigmaET Product Specialist

    In this workshop I will be discussing how you can reduce you time to market with advanced thermal modelling techniques.

    I will be happy to answer any questions at the end of the presentation.
  • the best PCB layout for electrical performance is usually the worst for thermal performance.
  • Thermal design is often an after thought. A bad thermal design can have a huge impact on the final quality of the equipment.

    Performance: Functional operation of device, Efficiency – minimisation of leakage current
    Reliability: Temperature dependency of failures
    Safety: Flammability, user safety, user comfort

    Xbox – High Failure rate. Widely believed to be caused by the device overheating - Reliability

    Hotmail – Overheating data center caused 18 hour shutdown - Performance

    MAC – Safety User Comfort. The component may be within specification but it does not feel ok.

    Bosch Dishwasher – Caused house fire. Over 600,000 recalled. - Safety
  • I am sure you have all seen this graph before. It is important that any design issue are found early. Any mistake found late in the design cycle are expensive to fix.

    Bosch and Xbox – Recall very expensive

    Cost of a design issue through the product lifecycle

    Many engineers find thermal issues at the prototype stage
  • Can impact the entire design

    Cost could be huge

    Weight – Bigger Heatsink

    Noise – Faster fan

    Increased cost – High spec components (military standard, heatsinks)

    Reduced equipment functionality – Reduce CPU speed, removal of functions.
  • Airflow is invisible.

    Temperature in electronic equipment is very difficult to measure and often not very accurate.

    Avoid time and money prototyping a cooling system that will not work.
  • Thermal simulation should be performed early and throughout the design cycle.

    You don’t need a full detailed design before doing simulation.
  • The cost goes up the later in the design cycle the problem is found.

    Once parts are manufactured the cost of modification is very high

    Cost – Optimize design – remove unnecessary heatsink, fans etc.
  • Over simplification
    Simple reporting
    Use CAD not blocks
    Expert is required to build an interpret
    6SigmaET has been design to be really easy to use
  • Reduce time use the data that is already available to you.

    The object based gridding in 6SigmaET automatically recognizes the CAD model and prepares it for the simulation.

  • Add Power
  • Banish PCB Thermal Problems with State-of-the-art Thermal Simulation

    1. 1. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 1 Banish PCB Thermal Problems with State-of-the-art Thermal Simulation Tom Gregory 6SigmaET Product Specialist
    2. 2. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 2 Every increasing complexity 12 Layer Boards Hundreds of components Thousands of nets Increased Power Density Higher Frequency Signals
    3. 3. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 3 PCB Design Challenges Signal Integrity Power Integrity Design for assembly Design for manufacture Design for test Electromagnetic Compatibility Size Weight Cost Mechanical Constraints Thermal
    4. 4. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 4 Why is Thermal Design Critical? The thermal design of equipment has an impact on the:  Performance  Reliability  Safety Can you afford to make a mistake with thermal design?  Overheating IT equipment caused Outlook and Hotmail shutdown – March 2013  Xbox 360 thermal failure cost Microsoft $1 billion  Ford Hybrid cars – Overheating electronics led to recall  Sony phone Overheating Issues - Unresponsive Touch Screen
    5. 5. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 5 Cost of Fixing a Design Issue Idea Design Prototype Manufacture Recall Cost Design Stage Based on: ‘Error Cost Escalation Through the Project Life Cycle’ NASA Johnson Space Center
    6. 6. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 6 What is the Impact of a Thermal Design Issue? Cost  PCB redesign  Enclosure redesign  Additional components – heatsinks, fans Time  Part redesign  Missed project deadlines  Market opportunity missed
    7. 7. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 7 How can Thermal Simulation Help? What is thermal simulation of electronics? Prediction of:  Temperature  Airflow Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) How can thermal simulation help you make better engineering decisions?  Visual representation of the temperature and airflow to quickly highlight issues  Identify overheating components before a prototype is created  Experiment with solutions without having to prototype
    8. 8. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 8 Design Create Prototype Measure/Test Fix issues Release Trial and Error
    9. 9. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 9 When should you use thermal simulation? Simulation throughout the engineering design process Simulation of design concept Simulation of preliminary designs Simulation of final design Create prototype Verification Release
    10. 10. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 10 Thermal Simulation Software Mechanical Engineer Electronic Engineer Specification Product Thermal Simulation Data Flow
    11. 11. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 11 What are the Benefits of using Thermal Simulation? Save Money, Save Time!  Perform thermal design of parts and equipment early in the design cycle  Verify thermal design before manufacture  Enables innovation
    12. 12. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 12 “But Thermal Simulation is Complicated!” Past Current
    13. 13. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 13 - 6SigmaET was launch in 2009 to solve many of technical and usability challenges of existing thermal simulation tools. - A CFD thermal simulation tool specifically designed for the electronics industry 6SigmaET: • Used by engineers from across the world, including Cisco, Motorola, and Bosch • Solves for conduction, convection and radiation Introducing 6SigmaET
    14. 14. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 14 Simulation Across the Electronics Industry
    15. 15. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 15 Intuitive Model Creation
    16. 16. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 16 Unique Insight
    17. 17. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 17 Integration with Design Tools Import Mechanical CAD  Import all major CAD formats  Automatic gridding of CAD objects  Convert to intelligent ET objects  Simulation results plotted directly on to the CAD geometry Import PCB Designs  Import PCB design data through the IDF, IDX and XFL file formats  Component positions, layer and trace information can all be imported
    18. 18. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 18 6SigmaET Intelligent Objects know what they are and how to behave Powerful Solve bigger. Solve faster. Solve more Automatic Reduce time, minimize errors Connected Seamlessly integrated into your design process
    19. 19. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 19 Modelling Objects Parametrically Defined Intelligently Placed Parent Child Relationship Intelligent
    20. 20. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 20 Modelling Objects Parametrically Defined Intelligently Placed Parent Child Relationship Intelligent
    21. 21. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 21 Modelling Objects Parametrically Defined Intelligently Placed Parent Child Relationship Intelligent
    22. 22. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 22 Powerful Complex CAD Geometry Complex and Detailed Models Scalable Parallel Solver
    23. 23. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 23 Automatic Automatic Grid Generation Automatic Collision and Error Detection Automatic Report Generation Modelling Error
    24. 24. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 24 Mechanical CAD PCB Design Import Power Reporting Connected Reference Designator Power (W) U1 5 U2 2 U3 0.2 U4 0.7
    25. 25. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 25 Revolutionary Solver - Revolutionary new solver which will enable you to solve faster, larger and in more detail than ever before - New Gridding technique reduces the number of grid cells required to calculate an accurate solution - Reduces the computing resources required to solve models
    26. 26. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 26 - Remove many of the limitations and inefficiencies of existing unstructured solvers. - Automatic grid generation refines solution grid only where necessary to create an accurate solution. - Complex curved geometry is no problem - Reduces the requirement for simplification of CAD Geometry. Unstructured Grid
    27. 27. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 27 Conclusion • 6SigmaET is designed exclusively for thermal simulation of electronics equipment and components • 6SigmaET is intuitive and easy to use and with R9 is even easier • Built-in intelligence reduces the time it takes to build your model • Importing PCB design and Mechanical CAD is simple • Complex tasks like grid generation are automatic • Revolutionary new solver which will enable you to solve faster, larger and in more detail than ever before
    28. 28. Company Confidential – Copyright ©2014 Slide 28 Visit at stand J32 for a demo of 6SigmaET