Celsius: Thermal and Electrical Analysis Together at Last

Celsius: Thermal and Electrical Analysis Together at Last


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Cadence announced the Celsius Thermal Solver. This is Cadence's second product in the system analysis space. The Celsius Thermal Solver is the first tool available that brings together a complete solution for electrical-thermal co-simulation.

System heat dissipation almost always involves both conduction and convection. The IC/package/board/enclosure interface is primarily a conduction problem best handled by finite element analysis (FEA). The enclosure/environment (air or liquid) interface is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) problem. So system-level thermal analysis requires both FEA and CFD approaches. That’s one requirement for a complete solution.

A further complication is that heat flow and resulting temperature gradients across an electronic assembly are caused by chip power dissipation, but the power is a function of operating temperature, so you have a chicken and egg situation. Therefore, electrical and thermal performance must somehow be solved together.

If that were not enough, there’s the additional issue of dynamic behavior versus static behavior. For instance, as our smartphones switch between off to on, low power, and sleep modes, their chips produce varying amounts of power and this can cause unexpected transients to occur. So, dynamic analysis is needed at account for this.

A complete solution is one that could address all of the above requirements plus provide convenient integration to chip and board design environments. 

 

The Celsius Thermal Solver utilizes innovative multi-physics technology to address these challenges. By combining FEA for solid structures with CFD for fluids, the Celsius Thermal Solver enables a comprehensive system analysis in a single tool.

When using the Celsius Thermal Solver in conjunction with Voltus technology for PCB and IC packaging, engineering teams can combine electrical and thermal analysis and simulate the flow of both electricity and heat for a more accurate system-level thermal simulation than legacy tools. The Celsius Thermal Solver also integrates seamlessly with Cadence's IC, package, and PCB implementation platforms, making it easier and faster to perform design iterations.

In addition, the Celsius Thermal Solver performs both static (steady-state) and dynamic (transient) electrical-thermal co-simulation based on the actual flow of electrical power in advanced 3D structures, providing visibility into real-world system behavior. The time steps can be adjusted depending on the needs of the particular analysis.

To truly enable system-level analysis without breaking the analysis into pieces, the Celsius Thermal Solver taps Cadence's computational software expertise in scaling enormous solvers into the cloud or on-premises data centers to get essentially unlimited capacity and a speedup of up to 10X. This is the same advanced technology that has been production-proven in the Voltus and Clarity products.

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