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Electronics Optimization with Engineering Simulation

Radu Crahmaliuc
BlogFEAElectronics Optimization with Engineering Simulation

Electronics optimization based on the multiple simulation functionalities of the SimScale platform can help electronics engineers to solve a wider range of problems and deal with more complex scenarios.

electronics optimization heat sink thermal analysis

Dynamic and static stress analyses could be performed for mechanical components or cases structures. Fluid flow and multi-component thermal analysis are common simulation methods for electronics components like chips, diodes, resistors or electronic boards, controlling the thermal behavior of different materials, cooling effects and environmental influences.

From electronic chips and printed circuit boards (PCBs) to smartphones and computers, SimScale is offering the perfect tools for electronics optimization and simulation, enabling companies to ensure power optimization, durability, efficiency or thermal performance for their products.

Let’s look at how SimScale can help you produce better devices, starting from the fundamental product classifications in electronics optimization by engineering analysis: Components, Board, and System.

Electronics Optimization for Components

A major challenge in electronics production is ensuring that components operate at temperatures below their established limits. As component power increases and packaging sizes decrease, designing to ensure adequate cooling becomes critical and challenging.

In the SimScale Public Projects library, we can find a relevant example in the cooling of a heat sink with natural convection analysis.

In this project, an LED with light emission of 24 W power is assumed. A steady-state heat transfer analysis was carried out to determine the operating temperature of the LED. The temperature of the LED is important for its lifetime and can be altered by changing the geometry of the heat sink. The heat flux and temperature field images assist with finding a better model.

Another interesting project is the chip thermostructural analysis.

Electronics design optimization thermal structural analysis of electronic chip
Chip thermostructural analysis

Electronic chips are used in a wide range of electronic circuits. Power loss normally occurs in these chips due to a rise in temperature which decreases their efficiency. This project shows the thermostructural analysis of an 8-pin Small-Outline Integrated Circuit (SOIC) chip with applied heat flux on the main chip core surfaces. A ceramic material was selected for the chip, and copper for the pins. A convective heat flux of 18 W/(m² K) was applied to all the outer faces of the chip. The final model figures show the temperature, heat flux, and von Mises stress produced in the chip. One project conclusion illustrates that a power loss of only 0.16 W can lead to a 516 K (243 °C) temperature increase.

Printed Circuit Board Simulation

In many board-level simulation analyses, the objective is to assess the temperature rise within a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) due to Joule heating. This involves traces modeling, which is a difficult process when a CAD model of the trace layout is not usually available.

transient thermal analysis of a printed circuit board, pcb design with thermal analysis software

A nice example is this transient thermal analysis of a printed circuit board.

This project shows the thermal effect of the electronic chips mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB). The geometry of PCB was created on Onshape and imported to the SimScale platform. Transient heat transfer was selected as an analysis type since temperature and surface heat flux were assumed to change over time. Chips 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were given a temperature that changed over time by uploading data tables. Chips 1, 2, 4 and 5 were also given surface heat flux that changed over time by uploading data tables. The simulation figures show the temperature and heat flux on chips and PCB from the top and bottom side.

Electronic Systems Simulation

System-level simulations are based on multiple components analyses, coming in different configurations. A good example is the structural stress analysis of a mobile phone casing tested for a 2-meter height drop.

This project shows how the electronic consumer industry can leverage SimScale to design better products. The drop of a mobile phone casing from a height of two meters is simulated to determine whether or not it reaches critical stress values.

The dynamic finite element analysis type is used for this simulation. The mobile phone is placed directly above the ground and initiated with a downwards velocity. The von Mises stress figure is one of the results of this modeling.

All the projects presented in this article can be imported into your own workspace and used as templates. Feel free to browse the SimScale Public Projects for other interesting simulations.

Download this free case study to learn how the thermal performance of a printed circuit board was investigated with SimScale.


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