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Editor’s Pick: Simulate Complex Electronics

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Many moons ago, I organized a tech support department for an online service. Late one night this guy called complaining about getting screens full of gibberish whenever he sent or received data. I forget how we figured it out, but the guy had buried his modem under a pile of books and magazines blocking his modem’s air vents and thus overheating the thing. Would that all electronics thermal issues be so easily solved. Coolit from Daat Research can help you predict and manage the airflow and heat transfer in electronic equipment, but it’s not going to help you with the guy determined to block the airflow in your electronics. Still, if you use Coolit, at least you know he’s going to really have to work at it.

Just out in version 9, Coolit is a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) toolset optimized for predicting and managing airflow and heat transfer in electronic equipment. It’s also optimized to be easy to learn and use. By that I mean it has all the numerics that you need to solve thermal problems, but you do not have to fuss with them. Instead, it offers fully automatic grid generation and solver setup, materials libraries, and so forth that eliminate many steps that are easy to mess up. That also means you can focus on what you’re trying to figure out.

Coolit is also flexible. For example, you can define units, build custom object libraries, and override automatic settings when you want. With version 9, you can now build complex IC chip models from scratch, use a guided method, or select an IC package from a library. It has a new pair of options for compact resistor models and four turbulence models for convective heat transfer analyses.

Coolit v.9, of course, has all sorts of postprocessing tools as well, including 3D flow animations and visualizations. It has CAD interfaces to make file imports easier. But the real deal here with Coolit is that it enables you to find and fix thermal problems early on in your design cycle before you commit to a given component, a set of parameters, or component placements that are expensive to rework later on. Since it’s fast, you can engage in what-if studies easily, simulate conditions that you can’t do in a lab efficiently, and predict temperatures in locations that you just couldn’t measure physically. All of which means Coolit helps you efficiently design and build electronic products that are more robust.

You can learn more about Coolit version 9 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Check out the link to the (registration free) case studies and the like to get an idea how other people are using Coolit.

Thanks pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine

Read today’s Pick of the Week

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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