Mentor Graphics unveils IC package thermal characterization and design tool
Mentor Graphics Corp. unveiled its FloTHERM IC productivity tool targeting the semiconductor industry for thermal characterization and design at the SEMI-THERM Symposium (Feb. 21-25, Santa Clara, CA USA). The new tool is a Web-based platform that automates the design tasks associated with full-spectrum thermal characterization and validation.
Ian Clark, product marketing manager at Mentor Graphics, told SST that the metrics in the tool are generated by the software automatically placing the package of interest in a virtual representation of the standard JEDEC test environments and performing a calculation using the tool's solver. In one example (Figure 1), he noted that the metric of interest is the junction-to-moving air thermal resistance (Θjma). The tool output shows the surface temperatures of the test board and package in the free post-processing viewer, FloVIZ. "For this metric, the appropriate JEDEC test environment is the moving air (forced convection) configuration," explained Clark. In another example, the metric of interest is the junction-to-ambient thermal resistance (Θja), representing the surface temperatures of the test board and package and the flow field. "For this metric, the appropriate JEDEC test environment is the still air (natural convection) configuration," said Clark.
|Figure 1. Surface temperature distribution on the test board and package for the moving air (forced convection) test environment as shown in the FloVIZ viewer.|
According to the company, a typical semiconductor thermal team spends ~60% of its time on standard package thermal characterization and design, and the remaining time for customer-specific characterizations. The FloTHERM IC tool dramatically reduces the time spent on thermal characterization and design by providing an automated process that includes pre-verified thermal models to reduce the risk of modelling errors. Clark also noted that the tool can achieve reductions of up to 25% in the time usually needed for customer-specific characterizations.
The FloTHERM IC tool is based on Mentor Graphics technologies including FloTHERM computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, used to simulate airflow, temperature and heat transfer in electronic systems, and the FloTHERM PACK Smart Parts modeling tool.—D.V.