To ensure that our enclosures provide superior cooling, Hybricon Corporation not only uses Flomerics’ FLOTHERM computation fluid dynamics (CFD) software to model the airflow and temperature within their enclosures, but also performs measurements for model verification. Airflow and temperature measurements at Hybricon are done using the Cambridge Accusense ATM-24. This device performs simultaneous airflow and temperature measurements in up to 24 discrete locations and interfaces to a PC through a serial interface for simplified collection of data. This iterative process, simulation and measurement, is critical in enabling the design process to not only meet performance goals, but also to meet the fast paced schedule of today’s electronic packaging development. Without it, the packaging may provide impressive ‘theoretical’ cooling without delivering in practice. This article will show measured and simulated airflow through Hybricon’s 9 slot CompactPCI tower, demonstrate the accuracy of said simulations, and present actual airflow measurements for two competitors’ enclosures to demonstrate just how important the simulation-measurement process is.

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