ROHM has recently added a new thermal analysis function to ROHM Solution Simulator that allows designers of electronic circuits and systems in the automotive and industrial markets to collectively verify power devices and driver ICs thermal issues on different solution circuits.
ROHM Solution Simulator, which runs on ROHM’s website, makes it possible to carry out a variety of simulations for free – from component selection to individual device and even system-level verification. This enables easy and accurate verification of ROHM products such as SiC devices in power semiconductors, driver/power supply ICs, and passive components (i.e. shunt resistors) in solution circuits under close to actual application conditions.
ROHM released its ROHM Solution Simulator in 2020 – in line with the company’s overall focus: developing and supporting application circuits that maximize the characteristics of driver ICs and power devices designed to supply high power in the automotive and industrial equipment markets. In this context, the ROHM Solution Simulator enables full circuit verification of power semiconductor and analog ICs. The tool is free of charge, and the software has been well received for its applicability and high accuracy.
The newly added thermal analysis function can be implemented in solution circuits for devices and applications where heat is likely to become an issue in electronic circuit design. Examples are PTC heaters (heaters specifically designed for electric vehicles without internal combustion engines) equipped with IGBTs and shunt resistors as well as DC/DC converter ICs and LED drivers in order to meet the increasing demand to simulate temperature during circuit operation. This is the only simulator in the industry that enables web-based electrically and thermally coupled analysis of not only of the semiconductor chip (junction) temperature during operation, but also pin temperatures as well as thermal interference of board components on solutions circuits that include both power semiconductors and ICs along with passive components. As a result, thermal analysis that used to take as much as a day can now be performed in about ten minutes (100x faster than conventional methods). This allows users to quickly and easily check the temperature of various parts of the device before prototyping (instead of after as is currently the case), reducing the need for rework. At the same time, the number of development resources required for applications where heat is an issue decreased.
ROHM Solution Simulator can be used free of charge by simply registering on ROHM’s website. In addition to the simulator, the dedicated web page provides access to videos and documents required for use.
Going forward, ROHM will continue to implement thermal analysis functions in solutions circuits compatible with ROHM Solution Simulator, focusing on the latest SiC devices, to further reduce the number of resources required for application development and prevent issues.
New Thermal Analysis Function Overview
Electronic circuit boards’ several parameters (i.e. number of layers, area) affect the heat dissipation performance. The thermal analysis function in ROHM Solution Simulator is achieved by using a thermo-fluid analysis tool to create a 3D model of the parameters related to heat dissipation calculated from the actual circuit board, then reducing the model to 1D so that it can be thermally analyzed by the electric circuit simulator and performing coupled analysis of electricity and heat. In addition to the semiconductor chip (junction) temperature that fluctuates during operation, thermal analysis of pin temperatures as well as thermal interference between board components and module chips that previously took about a day can be performed in less than 10 minutes (100× faster than conventional methods).
As a first step, ROHM has incorporated the thermal analysis function in solution circuits for a PTC heater (a heater specially designed for electric vehicles without internal combustion engines) equipped with IGBTs and shunt resistors as well as a DC/DC converter IC (BD9G500EFJ-LA) and LED driver ICs (BD18337EFV-M and BD18347EFV-M). For applications and devices where heat is a major issue during electronic circuit design, the temperature of various parts of the device can be quickly checked in the simulation before actual prototyping, contributing to reduced application development resources.
- Capabilities of the Thermal Analysis Function (Details)
- List of Supported Solution Circuits (Current at time of press release)
Key Features of ROHM Solution Simulator
One of the only free web simulators in the industry that enables full circuit verification of power semiconductors, ICs, and passives, ROHM Solution Simulator provides the following features that significantly reduce application development time for designers of electronic circuits and systems.
- Allows for batch verification of power semiconductors and ICs using a solution circuit close to the actual application environment
ROHM Solution Simulator makes it possible to easily and accurately verify power semiconductors such as SiC devices and IGBTs along with driver/power supply ICs and passive components (i.e. shunt resistors) in solution circuits under close to actual application conditions. This allows users to perform simulations of characteristics that cannot be seen with the device alone, including peripheral circuits.
- Simulation data can be transferred to the user’s own development environment
ROHM Solution Simulator was developed based on the PartQuest simulation platform from Siemens EDA, a leader in electronic design automation software with an extensive track record in the automotive and industrial equipment industries. Existing PartQuest users and those with newly registered PartQuest accounts can incorporate simulation data executed in ROHM Solution Simulator into their own PartQuest environment (workspace) to perform verification of system circuits under conditions close to actual use (including customizations).