Speaking of Flomerics, it appears as though nVidia used thermal
models to optimize package design and develop thermal design guidelines for
the nForce4 media and communications processor with some of that companies software.
"NVIDIA has developed a new process that
substantially reduces the amount of time required to simulate the thermal
performance of new products. The new process uses the web-based "Flopack"
software from Flomerics to quickly produce a computationally-efficient thermal
behavioral model - known as a "compact" model - which accurately represents a
component's thermal characteristics in any end-user environment. "We simply
describe the die size and heat dissipation and the package characteristics, such
as substrate size and number of balls, in the Flopack web site and hit go," said
Mark Hemmeyer, Mechanical Engineer for NVIDIA. "Then the web-site generates a
compact thermal model that predicts the temperature of the various elements
within the package accurately regardless of the computational environment in
which it is placed." Hemmeyer also prepared a thermal design guide that provides
answers to questions such as whether or not a heatsink is required under certain
ambient temperature and airflow conditions and what type of heatsink provides
the best performance."