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Design007-Sept2020

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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 more sophisticated active power management approaches being taken to manage the heat while minimizing the impact on the user's experience. Shaughnessy: What advice would you have for any designers and engineers who are just start- ing to deal with thermal management issues? Parry: Companies often focus on thermal prob- lems at the point they find them, which is in late design or prototyping. For the product that is in trouble, that's clearly the right focus, and simulation can really help understand the problem and what the possible remedies might be to save the product or project. Companies often repeat the mistake by not considering thermal in the next project until late design. It is an easy habit to get into because it is easier to wait until everything is known before build- ing the model. That's the wrong approach, and also a difficult way to start with thermal, because there is a huge amount of data from the EDA system about components and boards, the MCAD system about the enclosure and other mechanical aspects of the model, informa- tion on cooling solutions, material properties and powers, some of which may have to be entered manually. What's required is to start early and start simple, building a model of the entire product, which can pro- vide insight quickly, especially if the architecture of the product is different from what has been created before. That model can then be evolved over the development as more information becomes known about the design, for example importing the layout once this is in the EDA system. Before that, a rough idea of the layout can be used based on discussions with the board designers, so information about how the proposed layout behaves thermally can be investigated and proactively fed back to the board design team. The fol- lowing quote from a friend of mine per- fectly sums it up. Wendy Luiten, thermal specialist and DFSS Master Black Belt, once said, "Your thermal design is made or broken in a few vital early architecture choices. It is absolutely essential to figure out what they are and then guard these choices through the entire design flow. These can easily be choices that electronics engineers and mechanical engineers overlook." Shaughnessy: Good stuff. Is there anything else that you'd like to add? Parry: Thanks for the opportunity to have this discussion. Thermal design is a growing area, and we are continuing to invest in develop- ing our tools to meet future challenges. One really exciting area is in the use of reduced- order models (ROMs), where we have a tech- nology that allows the ROM, once created, to be used in any environment. These ROMs can be solved 10,000X faster than the full model in CFD, so they are a potential game changer, particularly when exported in SPICE or VHDL- AMS formats for use in conjunction with cir- cuit simulation software. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, John. Parry: Thank you for the opportunity. DESIGN007 Beaglebone black with heatsink design for overclocking.

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