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Intel pinpoints optimum RAID cooling

Courtesy of Intel Corp.

One of important Intel product lines for the electronics industry and consumers are RAID controllers used for the purpose of data redundancy and performance improvement. Intel RAID modules incorporate RAID-on-Chip (ROC), RAM modules, heat sinks etc. from a major manufacturer. These components and assemblies often come with Coolit models providing predictions of their performance and verified with experiment.

The Intel engineer assigned to the task of designing the RAID module despite being a first time Coolit user, quickly mastered the software. "Coolit's user-friendly interface made it easy to quickly ramp-up my modeling skills," he noted. "Furthermore, I could export the model to an STEP file and transfer it to my other analytical tools or import STEP models into Coolit."

The major heat sources in the RAID module were the16 W main chip and DDR3 modules each dissipating 0.6 W. The only design option analyzed was airflow direction. Air at 45C moved across the module 0.8 m/s flowing either from front to back or, alternately, from left to right.

In both scenarios, Coolit analysis predicted the main chip would not exceed its upper junction temperature limit. However, the RAM modules would reach their upper limit if air flowed from right to left across the module, but would stay well below their limit if air moved from front to back.

Coolit's analytical predictions enable the engineer to easily identify the optimum configuration.

Typical RAID module

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