Webinar Review: Thermal Integrity of High Performance PCB Design
Electrical and mechanical engineers may work on the same product development teams, but they speak different languages and have completely different goals. As a result, these people almost never use the same software tools.
But Cadence’s new Celsius Thermal Solver is an exception to the rule. In a new CadenceTECHTALK webinar, “How Static and Dynamic Analysis of IR Drops Can Help PCB Designs and Challenges,” Product Manager Melika Roshandell and SerDes SI/PI Engineer Karthik Mahesh Rao discuss how the Both EE and ME can use the Celsius Thermal Solver to achieve their disparate goals—at the chip and package/board levels.
Melika discusses the capabilities of the solver on the PCB and packaging side, which are accessible during the pre-layout stages of the design cycle. Built on top of FEA and CFD engines, the solver can identify Joule heating on boards and enclosures, and help determine copper density, component spacing, and proper placement and size of thermal vias. It compares the results of the solver’s dynamic IR droplet analysis with the DC analysis, which only works with a uniform temperature. Melika also points out the differences between typical thermal simulation and solver electrothermal co-simulation.
Karthik then takes over, demonstrating electrothermal co-simulation by importing a complete CAD file into the Celsius environment. It uses PowerTree technology to organize heat sources and heat sinks – definitions, model names, target impedance constraints, and more. It places probes at different points on the circuit board and tracks the transient results of components at different times. It shows how to track power loss on each layer over time, as well as changes in power distribution. 3D modeling capability represents all potential hotspots on the map.
To illustrate how this PCB would work in the real world, Karthik switches to the CFD analysis environment and places the design inside a case. He adds a heatsink to one of the thermally problematic packages and a cooling fan to the side of the case, then traces the cooling flow through the component and the board. Karthik concluded with examples of more comprehensive results obtained from transient electrothermal co-simulation compared to traditional steady-state analysis.
The Celsius Thermal Solver continues the “left shift” of signal integrity power early in the design cycle, and it offers features that will appeal to electrical and mechanical engineers. Maybe EEs and MEs will end up speaking the same language after all.
Melika and Karthik get a little invested in this half hour webinar. If you’re facing thermal challenges in your high-speed PCB designs, you’ll want to check out the CadenceTECHTALK, “How Static and Dynamic IR Drop Analysis Can Help PCB Designs and Challenges”..”
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