IBM's Boeblingen, Germany Development and Research Site develops
very densely packed blade servers, often having several new systems
and performance enhancements in development simultaneously. Each
server consists of a high density pc board for which optimum
component placement, particularly of processor chips, power
supplies and switches, is crucial to cool operation.
Designs originate with the architects, who previously had to wait
in queue for thermal analysis assistance from the mechanical
engineering department. To eliminate these delays, architectural
engineering began doing its own CFD analysis, using CoolitPCB.
Analyses are performed quickly at the architect's desk.
Iterations are run on his schedule without the need to shuffle
information back and forth between departments. Once the board
architecture and optimization is completed, the design is turned
over to thermal engineering for system integration.
Typical applications have included a design with 8 DIMM sockets
(dual in-line memory modules). If the sockets were placed too close
together, it would inhibit airflow; if spaced too far apart, they
would consume valuable real estate. CoolitPCB quickly predicted the
impact of the various spacing scenarios and enabled the architect
to determine the optimum spacing solution.
In another application, excessive heat was being generated across
the board. CoolitPCB pinpointed the source: high heat levels being
transmitted from a BGA through its pins and ground planes. The
predictions proved to be within 5-6% of the actual temperatures.
With CoolitPCB, Boeblingen Lab is now catching and fixing
potential thermal problems earlier, reducing development time and
bringing new products to market faster.