Since reliable operation of electronics systems is critically dependent on satisfactory thermal performance, thermal design has become an integral part of the product design process. Further, due to continuous increases in the complexity and power density of electronics systems, there is a constant need for improving the productivity of the design process. Thus, a good system design has to be developed early in the design process that meets thermal performance goals, while also satisfying mechanical, electromagnetic compatibility, and acoustic constraints.
Conventional techniques used for the analysis of the above design issues involve hand calculations, spreadsheets, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. However, hand calculations are very limited, spreadsheets are time consuming to construct and lack generality since they are system-specific, and CFD analysis is expensive in terms of model definition, solution, and post processing.
In this article, Tom and Kanchan describe Flow Network Modeling and its benefits for the design process.