Happy 25th Birthday FloTHERM !

Late in 1988 two key employees of CHAM (Concentration Heat And Momentum Ltd.), the first commercial CFD vendor and at the time market leader, left to set up a new type of CFD company. Recognising the opportunity to package CFD in focussed, highly automated and application specific products, David Tatchell and Harvey Rosten started to develop what would become FloTHERM. A CFD simulation tool targeted at simulating electronics system to predict its thermal behaviour, allowing designers to design in thermal compliance of their products well before having to resort to physical build+test.

FloTHERM quickly established itself in the market, first in Europe then out to the US and the Far East. Over the next 25 years FloTHERM grew and adapted to the needs of an ever changing electronics world. Increases in power density and a constant trend towards miniaturisation have colluded to make thermal issues a key driver in electronics design and help assure FloTHERM’s continued value.

Initial development work was done in the top floor of Harvey’s house in New Malden, Surrey, UK. David and Harvey were joined by 3 other colleagues from CHAM and, on the 3rd October 1988, development work began in earnest.

‘Providing good science to industry’ was a motto that encapsulated their vision and strategy and was implicit in the early design of the product, to demystify the CFD technology, to present it in such a way that it could be effectively utilised without having to have a pre-requisite CFD PhD. That dogma is still in force today in the continued development and improvement of the whole FloTHERM family of products here at the Mechanical Analysis Division of Mentor Graphics.

An early prototype circa 1989. Looks dated now but having all features in a single GUI at that time was revolutionary

To celebrate this 25th anniversary a video has been made, capturing the thoughts of some of us involved with FloTHERM:

I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it (though it was a painful reminder for some of us that our faces are better suited to radio 🙂 )

14th November 2013, Nottingham.



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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/simulating-the-real-world/2013/11/14/happy-25th-birthday-flotherm/