By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Last week’s Editor’s Pick was SIwave 4.0 software for signal- and power-integrity analysis of high-performance PCBs and ICs from ANSYS. I mentioned at the time that next on my list was ANSYS Inc.’s Icepak 12.0 CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software for electronics thermal management. I usually try not to have back-to-back Picks of the Week from the same developer, but ANSYS has made it too good a stretch of time for electronics design engineers for me to stick to that personal policy.
Icepak is hot stuff for electronics cooling management. It’s based on the ANSYS FLUENT CFD solver, which long ago became one of the leading high-end applications for solving flow, turbulence, heat transfer, reaction, and similar problems. Icepak enables design engineers to leverage FLUENT power through a streamlined user interface that, in ANSYS’s words, speaks their language. The short of what that means for you is that Icepak helps you model and predict the fluid flow and heat transfer performance of complex electronic assemblies at the component, board, or system level quickly. For the boss, this means fewer prototypes, tighter development cycles, and faster time to market.
The trick, if I can use that expression, is that Icepak lets you focus on managing the thermal properties of your electronics without having to be an expert in CFD software operations. For example, you build models by dragging and dropping icons of predefined, which means “smart,” elements—cabinets, fans, circuit boards, vents, heat sinks, and so forth. You can also import and combine ECAD and MCAD data into these objects. Icepak has libraries of standard materials, packages, and electronic components for you to use as well. And it offers a ton of automatic meshers, solvers, post-processors, and application interfaces. You get the idea.
So, what’s new in Icepak 12.0? You can read the full skinny about that it in today’s Pick of the Week. But let me point out a couple: new meshing and physical modeling technologies. Meshing has been enhanced with automatic multilevel meshing and Cartesian hex-dominant meshing. Modeling enhancements include trace heating and the import of DC power distribution profiles from ANSYS SIwave.
Last week as I told you about SIwave, I said something to the effect that ANSY has always tried to make engineering software accessible, powerful, and efficient so that engineers can develop better, more robust things more quickly. That’s at the core of Icepak 12.0. So, if managing the thermal characteristics of electronic devices is your thing, then do yourself a favor and check out Icepak 12.0.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine