White Paper: Electronics & Computers

Simulation-Driven Design for the Thermal Management of Electromagnetic Devices


Thermal management factors into the design of all electronic devices, as it can affect the reliability, energy and cost efficiency, safety, and overall user experience. The use of numerical simulation to design electronic devices has been steadily increasing over the years as a way to enhance device performance and stay ahead of the competition. Through the use of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, electrical engineers and designers are able to make informed design choices and better predict device performance.

Simulating the different heat transfer mechanisms in an electronic device gives designers a better understanding of the different material properties, as well as how to maintain current levels to avoid thermal fatigue. Multiphysics modeling enables accurate, real-world analyses, as heat transfer often appears together with, or as a result of, other physical phenomena, including structural mechanics, fluid flow, and chemical reactions. One example is thermal stress, in which temperature variations induce relevant deformations in an electronic device.

This paper includes a gallery of examples in which numerical simulation is used to analyze phenomena such as convective cooling, Joule heating, phase change, and thermal expansion in devices under test. The paper also discusses transforming multiphysics models into specialized simulation applications in order to allow for greater access to numerical simulation. Simulation apps enable simulation specialists to deploy their simulation results to collaborators throughout the development cycle, or to customers.

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