QLogic, developer of high performance networking adapters, switches
and ASICs, uses Coolit to save development time and costs in creating its
own products and in satisfying stringent customer requirements. The
software acts as an up-front tool enabling engineering to select the
appropriate components and optimize air flow before committing designs to
Custom designs form a significant part of the company's business.
Typically designs are forced air-cooled with the customer specifying
airflow, the operating environment (temperature, elevation) and airflow
In a recent design, adequate airflow was available, but high power
density at the chip level demanded a custom thermal solution, because air flow
impedance requirements made it impossible to use an off-the-shelf
heatsink. By running simulations on various heatsink combinations,
Qlogic was able to zero-in on a custom design that adequately cooled the
chips while imparting very low airflow impedance.
"Thermal analysis is a risk reducer for us and our customers," notes
QLogic's engineering manager. "It allows us to comply with customer
requirements and have an early view into the performance. Compared to
other thermal software, Coolit models are very easy to build, and
processing is fast and very efficient. And the use of local grids
reduced my solution time and enabled me to build larger models."
He adds, "Without Coolit, complex systems would require lots of testing
and modifications to get where you need to be. With the software,
development time is shorter, test time and modification time is limited,
and there are fewer design iterations."
Qlogic always compares the thermal predictions to actual test results.
While accuracy will vary somewhat with system complexity, even very
complex models prove accurate to within 10%.