Case Study: High-Powered Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs

Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs`

Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. engineers designed a solution to cool a board that contained high-powered Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs. (Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)

Engineers at Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. were asked to test the layout of a PCB that was using Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) with fans on one side pulling air across the board. The client used ATS heat sinks on the original iteration of the PCB and wanted to ensure those heat sinks would provide the necessary cooling for this iteration as well.

Through a combination of analytical modeling and CFD simulations, ATS engineers determined that the heat sinks already being used would provide enough cooling for the more powerful components.

Challenge: ATS conducted thermal analysis of a system with Altera Stratix 10 FPGA units when using ATS 1634-C2-R1 and ATS FPX06006025-C1-R0 heat sinks. Two of the FPGAs would be running at 90 watts and one at 40 watts and there were fans on one side of the PCB that would pull air across the board.

Chip/Component: Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs

Analysis: Analytical models and CFD simulations were run with ATS 1634-C2-R1 heat sinks and several other options, including copper and aluminum heat sinks with and without embedded heat pipes. CFD simulations also created fan curves for all six of the Mechtronics MD4028V fans being used.

Test Data: The data showed that even with the additional power of the new chips that the original heat sinks would keep the case temperature below 80°C. The other heat sinks showed similar case temperatures mostly below 80°C as well. Fan curves showed that the fans were operating near the knee, which the client was notified about.

Solution: ATS engineers recommended staying with the ATS 1634-C2-R1 heat sink because it was able to cool the high-powered FPGAs below the maximum case temperature. The ATS FPX06006025-C1-R0 was recommended for the lower power FPGA.

Altera Stratix 10 FPGAs

CFD simulation with the case temperatures of the three FPGA using the original ATS heat sinks.
(Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)

Net Result: The customer was able to continue using the same heat sinks that had worked on the prior iteration of the PCB.

For more information about Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. thermal management consulting and design services, visit or contact ATS at 781.769.2800 or

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