SOURCE: Blue Ridge Numerics

November 29, 2006 13:37 ET

New CFdesign V9 Provides Electronics Industry With Fastest, Lowest-Cost Approach to Thermal Management

Generates First-Pass Airflow & Heat Transfer Simulation in Minutes; Delivers High-Fidelity Design Reviews up to 20 Times Faster

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 29, 2006 -- Blue Ridge Numerics has released a new version of its CFdesign electronics cooling software that enables users to set up and view a first-pass airflow and heat transfer simulation in minutes while generating high-fidelity design reviews up to 20 times faster than with previous versions. CFdesign V9, developed for multi-tasking design and product development engineers, also offers new analysis features to increase innovation during electronic systems development.

CFdesign is commonly used to determine chip-junction temperatures in electronics devices; visualize and optimize airflow patterns in enclosures; generate detailed simulations of novel heat sink designs in real-world usage scenarios; test inlet and outlet louvers, hole patterns, and hidden air vents; place critical components in ruggedized systems; and design air supply and return placement in IT datacenters.

CFdesign V9 is CAD-driven electronics cooling and thermal management simulation. The CAD model drives the simulation the same way a physical prototype drives a lab test. The removal of barriers between simulation and CAD along with advanced levels of process automation makes CFdesign V9 the fastest, most economical method to achieve innovative thermal solutions in electronics product design and packaging.

"There is a lot of noise in the market about simulation-driven design but for the most part this is an inside-out approach conceived by the CAE status quo," states Blue Ridge president Ed Williams. "CFdesign V9 provides fluid flow and heat transfer analysis capabilities that are truly integrated into the design process as an on-demand solution for mechanical, electro-mechanical, and thermal engineers. We don't believe simulation drives the design but rather it enables a closed-loop design process where knowledge and innovation increase with each cycle. Our goal with V9 is to insure total support of our customers' design process so they can be more proactive and profitable."

Meshing headache has left the building

Automation in CFdesign V9 allows both novices and experts to breeze through simulation set up in less time than it takes to get through morning e-mail. The new process is based on two new features: auto mesh sizing and rules on parts.

Auto mesh sizing performs a comprehensive topological interrogation of the geometric model, assigning mesh sizes based on curvature, geometric gradients, and proximity to neighboring features. An optimally sized surface and volume mesh ensures faster mesh generation and higher-quality simulation results without any user input.

"This was the last aspect of our software that required some guru-like CFD expertise," says Ed Williams, president of Blue Ridge Numerics. "With auto mesh sizing, that headache has left the building."

CFdesign V9 beta customers report that the mesh is cleaner and smoother, critical transition regions are instantly and expertly managed, and the ultimate CFD solution is achieved faster than ever before.

Intelligent part detection

The new rules on parts feature in CFdesign V9 intelligently detects MCAD part names within an assembly and automatically assigns volumetric boundary conditions and material properties. Boundary conditions include heat generation and total heat generation, both of which can be steady state, transient or temperature dependent. Materials are assigned from CFdesign's customizable library of fluids, solids, printed circuit boards, and the newly added two-resistor electronic components.

Accelerated simulations

The new Accelerant™ Solver within CFdesign V9 uses proprietary CPU optimization algorithms to radically reduce the time it takes to achieve fully converged fluid-flow and heat-transfer results. Testing conducted by Blue Ridge Numerics and CFdesign customers show that simulation results for simple models can be generated 40 percent faster than in previous versions and extremely complex simulations can be completed up to 2,000 percent faster.

"We're addressing the need for speed," says Williams. "Our surveys show that CFdesign is up to 70 percent faster than physical test methods and 65 percent faster than traditional CFD tools for electronics cooling."

Added analysis power

Blue Ridge Numerics has added new analysis features in CFdesign V9 based on its long-established premise that advanced functionality is fully compatible with ease of use.

--  Compact Thermal Models allow electronics, mechatronic and thermal
    engineers to answer one of the biggest questions related to product
    reliability: "What are the temperatures within microchips during system
    operation?" Only two parameters, Theta JB and Theta JC, are needed for
    CFdesign V9 to supply board temperature, junction temperature, case
    temperature, heat transfer between junction and board, and heat transfer
    between junction and case for every component within the system.  Supported
    microchip configurations include BGA (ball grid array), PBGA (plastic ball
    grid array), TBGA (taped ball grid array), FC-BGA (flip chip ball grid
    array), QFP (quad flat pack), PQFP (plastic quad flat pack), NQFP (no-lead
    quad flat pack), and SOIC/SOP (small-outline IC/small-outline package).
--  PCB characterizer provides a simple way to accurately include thermal
    characteristics of any PCB material within a CFdesign simulation. The
    unique properties of each copper and dielectric (FR-4) layer are specified,
    allowing conductivities to be computed automatically and applied within the
    simulation. Each characterized PCB can be added to the CFdesign material
    library for re-use, and can be automatically assigned with the new rules on
    parts functionality.
--  Solar loading shows transient electromagnetic heat transfer from the
    sun. It includes radiation through transparent media and even shows
    shadowing based on the sun's movement. Simulation set up is simple: specify
    time of year, time of day, and location on the globe using the database in
    CFdesign, or assign specific latitude/longitude coordinates.
--  Thermostatically controlled fans and blowers enable users to control a
    fan or blower with a specified trigger temperature. The fan is activated
    automatically when trigger temperature is reached to provide a highly
    realistic view of full-cycle system performance.

New design optimization technologies

CFdesign V9 delivers its greatest value to the customer when used to conduct comprehensive design optimization studies prior to physical prototype testing. The software contains two new enabling technologies for this effort: process automation scripting and the design review server.

Process automation scripting allows users to create a project-specific script that defines model set up, analysis execution, and results extraction for a large number of similar analyses that differ parametrically. A trade-off study containing unlimited result quantities are presented as a function of the varying input. Scripts can also be created that allow CFdesign to operate as part of a design optimization environment.

The design review server distributes computations across available networked computers, providing a convenient way to conduct extensive, highly interactive design review sessions while working within current hardware and network limits.

Full CAD/CAE integration

CFdesign V9 is fully associative and integrated with Autodesk Inventor, Catia V5, CoCreate, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, and UGS NX 3D MCAD systems. Fluid-flow and heat-transfer results can be transferred as an input deck for structural simulations in Abaqus, Ansys, Cosmos, Nastran, and Pro/MECHANICA.

About Blue Ridge Numerics:

Founded in 1992, Blue Ridge Numerics puts comprehensive fluid-flow and heat-transfer simulation upfront in the electronics product development process, where it creates tremendous value for small, medium and large companies around the world. Leading companies in aerospace, appliances, automotive, consumer, manufacturing, medical, military and defense, and power generation use CFdesign software to save money and time by reducing the amount of flow-bench and thermal testing necessary to validate new designs. Consistently ranked among the fastest-growing technology companies in America, Blue Ridge is the fastest-growing CFD software company in the world.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jim Spann
    Vice President, Marketing
    Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc.
    434.977.2764 ext.120