Siemens Devises Secure Way to Share IC Thermal Models to E-Supply Chain

January 25, 2024 by Jake Hertz

IC designers can now securely share thermal models across the supply chain—without compromising critical details about chip architecture.

This week, Siemens announced an update to its electronics cooling simulation software that makes IC thermal models more secure and sharable.

To avoid the damaging effects of heat generation in high-density chips, IC designers must thoroughly analyze and address heat dissipation. While detailed thermal models can mitigate such damage, these models typically reveal the IC’s internal physical structure. As a result, semiconductor OEMs refrain from sharing this data across the electronic supply chain ("e-supply chain") to protect their intellectual property. 


Embeddable BCI-ROM Technology

IC designers can now share accurate reduced-order thermal models of IC packages for 3D CFD thermal analysis.


Siemens claims that its new Embeddable Boundary Condition Independent Reduced Order Model (BCI-ROM) technology, now available in the company's updated Simcenter Flotherm software, enables semiconductor companies to create accurate, sharable 3D thermal analysis models that don't expose sensitive IP. 


Siemens Introduces Embeddable BCI-ROM Technology

Siemens’ Flotherm, a part of the company’s Xcelerator portfolio, is a comprehensive thermal management software for integrated circuit design. By simulating airflow and heat transfer in and around electronic equipment, Flotherm can generate detailed thermal models of electronic systems, enabling engineers to predict thermal performance, optimize design, and prevent overheating.

Embeddable BCI-ROM (EROM) versus conventional thermal models

Embeddable BCI-ROM (EROM) versus conventional thermal models. 

BCI-ROM technology creates reduced-order thermal models of IC packages for 3D CFD electronics cooling simulations. Siemens asserts that it also effectively compresses complex thermal models into a simpler form. Independent of specific boundary conditions, the technology enables designers to embed the models in different thermal environments, yielding accurate temperature predictions across various systems.


BCI-ROM Boosts Accuracy, Security, and Transparency

Flotherm's BCI-ROM technology is considered a substantial advancement over traditional modeling methods like the 2-Resistor and DELPHI models. Because BCI-ROM can accurately simulate transient thermal behaviors and manage multiple heat sources in intricate IC packages, engineers can quickly and flexibly iterate thermal solutions.


Worfklow of embeddable BCI-ROMs vs. thermal netlists

Workflow of embeddable BCI-ROMs vs. thermal netlists. 

Engineering teams can now share high-fidelity thermal simulation data across the electronics supply chain without revealing the IC package's internal geometry and material properties.  

A Secure Forum on Thermal Management

As chips' power densities continue to increase, IC designers need a secure, collaborative method for sharing thermal management data. 

Siemens believes that reduced-order models enable different stakeholders in the electronics supply chain to access vital thermal data for design and testing without the risk of revealing sensitive design details inherent in the full models. This balance of information sharing and IP protection is vital for innovation and efficiency in electronic design and production.



All images used courtesy of Siemens.