IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 269-282, June 2004.

Numerical Prediction of Electronic Component Operational Temperature: A Perspective

Valerie Eveloy
Electronics Thermal Management Ltd.
Westport, Ireland

Peter Rodgers
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

M.S.J. Hashmi
Dublin City University
Dublin, Ireland


This study aims to provide a perspective on the current capabilities of computational fluids dynamics (CFD) as a design tool to predict component operational temperature in electronic systems. A systematic assessment of predictive accuracy is presented for printed circuit board (PCB)-mounted component heat transfer, using a CFD code dedicated to the thermal analysis of electronic systems. Component operating temperature predictive accuracy ranges from +3oC to 22oC (up to 35%) of measurement, depending on component location on the board, airflow velocity and flow model applied. Combined with previous studies, the results highlight that component junction temperature needs to be experimentally measured when used for strategic product design decisions and reliability predictions. Potential development areas are discussed for improved analysis.

Index Terms: Benchmark, component, computational fluids dynamics (CFDs), electronics cooling modeling, prediction, printed circuit board (PCB), reliability, virtual prototyping.

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