Secure thermal digital twin technology for the electronics supply chain

23rd January 2024
Paige West

Siemens Digital Industries Software has recently announced its introduction of a novel method for distributing precise thermal models of integrated circuit (IC) packages throughout the electronics supply chain.

This approach focuses on safeguarding intellectual property, fostering enhanced collaboration within the supply chain, and improving the accuracy of models for both steady state and transient thermal analysis, ultimately benefiting design studies.

This technology, known as Embeddable Boundary Condition Independent Reduced Order Model (BCI-ROM), is a key feature of the latest updates to the Simcenter Flotherm software, part of the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio. BCI-ROM enables semiconductor companies to create accurate models for sharing with their clients. These models can be used in high-fidelity 3D thermal analysis without revealing the internal physical structure of the IC.

MediaTek Inc., a global fabless semiconductor firm known for its systems-on-chip (SoC) in various sectors, has already utilised Simcenter Flotherm to enhance customer collaboration. Jimmy Lin, Technical Manager at MediaTek Inc., remarked: “Embeddable BCI-ROM is a great way to share our thermal models with our customers. It has several key features: easy generation, confidentiality, low error rate, and suitability for steady-state and transient applications.”

The increasing need for detailed thermal models arises from the heat dissipation challenges in modern electronics. These challenges are influenced by the miniaturisation of semiconductor packages and electronic systems, trends towards slim-form consumer products, and the demands of intensive processing requirements. Especially in modern IC package architectures like 2.5D, 3D IC, or chiplet-based designs, these challenges necessitate advanced 3D thermal simulation during both development and integration into electronic products.

Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, Senior Vice President of Simulation and Test Solutions at Siemens Digital Industries Software emphasised the importance of this development in the context of electronics supply chain pressures and the increasing complexity of IC packages. “Our breakthrough new technology enables accurate thermal models to be shared securely within the electronics supply chain without exposing sensitive intellectual property, allowing all parties to resolve thermal issues faster and bring advanced products to market more quickly,” he said. This innovation aims to remove barriers to collaboration and enhance thermal analysis efficiency during design, supporting competitive product development.

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