Mentor’s FloTHERM XT and the Electronification of Design
John Hayes posted on March 18, 2013 | | 4036 views

FloTHERM XT is intended to bring electronics and mechanical design processes closer together through earlier thermal simulation.

It seems everything that was formerly the domain of mechanical design engineers, from dishwashers and toasters to car seats and sprinklers, now has an electronics element. (And an internet connection.)

Capitalizing on this trend, Mentor has introduced an integrated MDA-EDA electronics cooling simulation tool that is intended to bring thermal analysis earlier into the design cycle. The goal of using simulation is the same, primarily to reduce the number of physical prototypes, faster design iterations and speed time to market.

Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics

Every design team that works with electronic components has to face thermal analysis, and the problem is getting worse. Recent advances in higher power processors and PCB/component density are driving tougher challenges in managing heat.

The new product, called FloTHERM XT, represents a marriage of the FloTHERM thermal analysis software with the concurrent CFD technology from the company’s FloEFD product. Mentor claims that the new user interface will be friendly to both mechanical and electronics designers, and that the importing tools will let designers work with geometry created in virtually any MDA or EDA package.

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