Thought Leadership

IC package representation is central to Electronics Cooling

By Robin Bornoff

Electronics cooling involves ensuring that IC package temperatures do not exceed maximum rated values. If they do the probability of thermo-mechanical related failure increases dramatically. The accuracy of any electronics thermal simulation will be determined by how well the IC package is represented in the solution. These are simple and evident truths. As the leading supplier of electronic thermal simulation tools we have an obligation to the industry to both provide the ability to simulate and also to facilitate the creation of good quality thermal representations of IC packages, by vendors, to be supplied to end users.

FloTHERM is just a tool (just as a hammer is a tool). So why should we, as a software vendor, concern ourselves with the data that has to be input into that tool? To best serve the needs of the thermal design engineer we need to do more than just supply a shiny hammer. In a perfect thermal simulation world an engineer would have at their disposal accurate thermal representations of all IC packages that they might want case or junction temperature predictions of. What can we do to help bring this nirvana closer to reality?

There are a range of methods available to thermally represent IC packages that I covered in this previous blog series. The derivation of such representations is the thermal characterisation obligation of the suppliers of those packages. As the motivation of accurate electronics thermal simulation increase with increasing power densities and shrinking form factors the need for system integrators to obtain IC package thermal models from the supplier is growing, and growing quickly.

To facilitate the creation and provision of such thermal models we have recently introduced a new product aimed specifically at IC package suppliers. FloTHERM IC can create a full suite of thermal metrics and models at the touch of a button. Adhering to published JEDEC standards, the quality of the resulting information is unrivalled. Our intention of this product is to bridge the gap between the needs of the end user and the capabilities of their supplier.

FloTHERM IC can create the following metrics and models:

  • θja
  • θjma
  • θjc
  • θjb
  • ψjt
  • ψjb
  • ψjp (when appropriate)
  • 2R model (pdml format)
  • DELPHI model (pdml format)

What used to take hours to create can now be done in minutes. Whether it’s supplying metrics for customers or providing quick indications of the relationship between a thermal metric and a package parameter such as die size, FloTHERM IC is fit for purpose. If you’re a package supplier and want to satisfy the needs of your clients (and who wouldn’t?) then apply for a free 30 day trial! If you’re an end user who is fed up with scrabbling around for whatever thermal metrics you can find, then feel free to pass this info on to your package supplier.

Enabling the supply chain in this way will, we hope, bring thermal nirvana a little bit closer.

4th March 2010, Nottingham

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at