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Keywords: Simulation, Transient , Calibration
Electronics today are designed into dynamic and often unpredictable environments. The dynamic thermal behavior of the device influences its operation, reliability, and in some circumstances the end-user experience. Failure to properly capture the dynamic thermal behavior leads to overdesign, more field failures, and longer design cycles. Historically thermal design has been based on developing a cooling solution that satisfies temperature constraints for critical devices operating at a thermal design power for steady state operation. This approach isn’t viable for many of today’s electronic products. The challenge for designing electronics into dynamic applications consists of developing accurate predictive models that respond correctly to power dissipations that vary as a function of time, and the associated thermal paths through to the ambient, in an acceptable amount of time. Developing an accurate predictive thermal model has been constrained by the finite amount of engineering time available, and the quality or appropriateness of the available measurement data. Using thermal measurement data that captures the transient response of the device offers the best opportunity for designing products that experience changes in power dissipation or environmental conditions. A calibrated dynamic thermal model facilitates the development of an optimal architecture for the cooling solution, and the development of temperature management logic that can reduce the cooling solution cost or end-user experience. This presentation discusses the challenges with thermal design for dynamic products and the risks associated with designing with un-calibrated models. A thermal design using a calibrated model is compared against an un-calibrated model.
John Wilson, Electronics Product Specialist
Mentor Graphics
Fremont, CA

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