In January, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS) and engineering simulation software leader Future Facilities announced that ATS had purchased multiple seats of 6SigmaET, an electronics thermal simulation software, adding to its CFD (computational fluid dynamics) capabilities.
In a joint press release from the two companies, ATS founder and CEO Dr. Kaveh Azar said, “We have decades of experience with a broad base of commercially available CFD tools. For the electronics thermal management analyses, 6SigmaET showed excellent agreement with our empirical and analytical modelling.
He added, “We were equally impressed with its ease of use and a short learning curve. Our engineering team was able to apply the tool to different levels of simulation extending from component to system level modelling. The speed of convergence and ease of use of 6SigmaET, have made it the first CFD software to use.”
6SigmaET becomes the lead thermal simulation software for ATS engineers dealing with standard electronics cooling challenges. ATS engineers will be able to quickly and efficiently simulate junction and ambient temperatures across boards and components or define airflow to find fan operating points or get a better understanding of pressure drop in a system.
Dr. Azar continued, “We always want to be working with the best breed of tools to deliver the innovative, high-quality and cost-effective thermal management and packaging solutions our customers expect. As a result, this addition is good news for our customers. The rich features of the 6SigmaET thermal simulation package not only enable us to do more when it comes to simulation, but also allows us to further deliver the solution to our clients in a shorter time interval. It is my highest compliment to 6SigmaET development team for putting together such a robust and effective software.”
Adding 6SigmaET to ATS CFD capabilities, which also includes FloTHERM from Mentor and Autodesk CFD (formerly CFdesign), enables engineers to save customers time in the design phase and makes it easier for ATS engineers to devise optimal thermal solutions.
ATS engineer Anatoly Pikovsky said, “Visual is definitely a great thing to have. If you look at this temperature map, for instance, you can look at the defined map and say right away, okay I have a very high temperature right in the middle.”
Pikovsky, who was working on Autodesk CFD to design a customized cold plate for a customer, demonstrated how the software allows for him to analyze the pattern of fluid flow through complex geometries that were imported from SolidWorks drawings. He used the software to show hot spots and fluid velocity and how small changes, such as the number of fins within the cold plate, could alter the results.
Field Application Engineer Vineet Barot explained that he used 6SigmaET on a board in which there was pressure drop coming from vents at the end of the board. In simulations, he was able to add fins to the heat sink without altering the fan operating point and quickly provide a thermal solution that was presented to a customer. He said, “If you had a standard 1-U chassis you can build it from scratch and run it in half an hour.”
While CFD continues to evolve to handle more complex problems, while also becoming easier to use for engineers, simulations are only part of the solution.
ATS engineers also perform analytical modeling, literally putting pen to paper with basic thermodynamic equations, to define the problem and provide a reference point for simulations. Coupling analytical and computer modeling is what sets ATS apart from its competitors because it ensures that thermal solutions provided by CFD are correct.
“CFD will give you a solution, whether it’s right or wrong, it will give you a solution,” Pikovsky said. “That’s the way it’s designed. Analytical coupled with CFD gives you a good reference point to know whether you’re in the ballpark.”
Analytical modeling also speeds up the process of finding an optimized solution. Rather than spending days or weeks plugging in different fin numbers and heights or trying numerous heat sink geometries, ATS engineers can define a small range of iterations, limiting the variables for CFD, to avoid countless simulations, each of which could take hours to run.
Pikovsky said, “Maybe you’ve designed a heat sink for certain airflow and you want to determine the number of fins. You can do it with CFD, but you start varying fins and it’s going to take you days. Analytical is great because you can determine the optimal number of fins and start CFD with that.”
CFD is a critical component of ATS thermal consulting and design services. 6SigmaET has quickly been adopted by ATS engineers as the lead software and been used in the design of thermal solutions for a number of customers in the past few months.
But, it is the combination of CFD with ATS engineers’ emphasis on analytical modeling that has made ATS a leader in the thermal management of electronics.
For more information about Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS) thermal management consulting and design services, visit https://www.qats.com/consulting or contact ATS at 781.769.2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.