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Seagate builds reliability with Coolit

Courtesy of Seagate Technology Inc.

Seagate, a leading manufacturer of data storage equipment, prides itself on the reliability of its hard drives. Seagate engineers count on Coolit to help provide this reliability through superior thermal design.

Take for example, a low cost, 3-1/2 inch external hard drive that was developed for the retail desktop market. The unit was cooled by conduction and free convection, and air had to move freely through the unit whether it was in the vertical or horizontal position. Fans were not an option for cost and acoustical reasons.

To design the unit's custom heat sink, engineers had to balance fin size, shape, and number. If the heat sink were too large, it would choke off the cooling air. If there were too many fins, air would bypass them. And the design had to be stamped in order to minimize manufacturing cost.

The industrial design team had also decreed that the number of vents had to be minimized for esthetic reasons. So engineers had to identify the strategic vent locations that would allow adequate ventilation.

Juggling the conflicting requirements using conventional techniques would have demanded numerous physical prototypes tested, modified and tested again until engineering zeroed in on a workable design. The entire costly process would have taken weeks and possibly even months to complete.

By enlisting Coolit, engineers completed the project in a fraction of the time. Multiple design scenarios were built and analyzed in less than a week and an optimized thermal design delivered without building prototypes.

A 3.5" external hard drive

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