A Cool Emulator - Component, PCB, Chassis to System Level

Emulators, used in physical verification of SoC and Intellectual Property (IP)-based designs due to speed, have high heat dissipation requirements with tens of kWs in thermal energy from emulator’s boards and AC/DC power modules to remove. This article covers design factor and simulation studies for cooling of both the chip package, logic boards, board module sub-assemblies and emulator global system modeling level. FloTHERM suite software was used to detect unexpected physical behavior and optimize Veloce Emulator design.

Topics include:

  • Compact thermal modeling of chip package for accurate Tj prediction

  • Power dissipation estimation for each key component

  • Heatsink optimization in terms of efficiency, pressure drop vs changing layout

  • Optimizing temperature sensor positioning on PCB’s for fan operation and noise control

  • Chassis level airflow studies for configuration and fan positioning

  • System level analysis to check for dead areas or deleterious air recycling zones

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