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58 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 When we started planning this issue on ther- mal design and management, we knew we had to check in with Dr. John Parry. He has been involved with computational fluid dynamics for decades, joining the U.K. firm Flomerics when it opened in 1989. When Mentor, a Sie- mens Business, acquired Flomerics in 2008, John joined, too, and is now strategic business development manager. I asked John to discuss today's thermal management challenges, his advice to newcomers to this segment, and how software tools, such as FloTHERM, can help technologists beat the heat. Andy Shaughnessy: John, what are some of the biggest issues that PCB designers and engi- neers now face in thermal management? John Parry: The biggest challenge is increasing mechanical and electrical integration. There are four consequences from a thermal stand- point. The first is that as prod- ucts have miniaturized, the power density per unit vol- ume has gone up, despite attempts to reduce the power consumption of the components by lowering switching voltages. The second is that there is less free space within the product. That's critical for an air-cooled product, as space is required to get the air through the system to cool it. The third is less obvious, but as the free space is reduced, so is the option to make any remedial design changes if the equipment is too hot. In the worst case, the whole design may need to be scrapped, and the best-case scenario is weeks of rework. A fourth consequence is that it is no longer possible to design equipment to run continu- ously under worst-case conditions, such as the maximum power consumption arising from how the product is used. It is often no longer possible to design to a lower thermal design Everything You Need to Know to Beat the Heat Liquid-cooled finned cold plate with exploded view of IGBT module. John Parry

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