Computer & Storage Devices

Engineers who design computers — desktop, laptop and tablet devices as well as high-end servers and supercomputers — face a number of challenges: increasing power density, a continued demand for air cooling, and the need to reduce device size, weight and noise pollution. Since the computer industry is a highly competitive market, engineers operate within very short design cycles, often interfacing with suppliers and partner networks that span the globe.

Electric field distribution on PCB calculated by ANSYS SIwave

In the storage device industry, companies focus on component design including disk and hard disk drives, DRAM memory modules and integrated systems like networking storage devices. Challenges include electronics cooling mechanical reliability and the need to simulate complicated phenomena like disk drive flutter. The highly competitive market segment is experiencing a continued drive for size, weight, power use and cost reduction.

The ANSYS hallmark is breadth and depth through a variety of multiphysics and multiscale simulation capabilities, enabling companies in this market to examine the tradeoffs between product performance, thermal design, mechanical reliability, signal and power integrity, and electromagnetic compatibility. By reducing redundancy and streamlining the design process through the use of a single platform, product developers can shorten their design cycle and reduce the overall cost of the design process.

ANSYS offers computer and storage device designers a variety of engineering simulation tools. 

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Electromagnetic Electromagnetic

ANSYS offers signal integrity, power integrity and EMI/EMC solutions through a combination of electromagnetic and circuit simulation tools. ANSYS HFSS software is a full-wave 3-D electromagnetic field solver, and ANSYS SIwave technology is the 2.5-D hybrid electromagnetic field solver designed for package and board design. These two high-fidelity electromagnetic field simulation products are tightly integrated with ANSYS DesignerSI, our high-speed circuit and system simulation tool.

ANSYS SIwave calculates resonances between power and ground planes.


Thermal Management Thermal Management

For thermal optimization of computers, ANSYS Icepak software enables engineers to conduct system-level CFD simulation, including natural and forced-air cooling, fan selection, heat sink design, and system-level air flow distribution. ANSYS general-purpose CFD codes are used to conduct coupled fluid dynamics and acoustic analysis to examine trade-offs between thermal design and acoustic compatibility as well as to examine water and immersion cooling applications.

Disk drive designers use ANSYS FSI solutions to conduct two-way coupled fluid–structure simulation, which provides the ability to optimize devices in a single simulation environment.

Thermal management of PC using ANSYS Icepak

Thermal management of 1 U server using ANSYS Icepak

Mechanical & Thermomechanical Mechanical & Thermomechanical

Engineers use software from ANSYS to examine thermomechanical stresses in computer packages and boards. The technology also can be applied to address thermomechanical fatigue that develops during a device’s continual on-and-off cycle. ANSYS tools can simulate disk rotary dynamics, including the impact of thermally induced deformation. 

Explicit solvers in ANSYS Mechanical software assist in studying the mechanical stresses that develop as a result of vibration or dropping. 

Stress analysis of PCB using ANSYS Mechanical

Model courtesy CADFEM GmbH.

Power Management Power Management

Today’s computing and storage systems maintain competitive advantage by consistently delivering optimal performance per watts metrics. Because these high-end servers and supercomputers require tremendous amounts of power, systems design must be energy efficient. The challenges include increasing power density, a continued demand for air cooling, and the need to reduce size, weight and noise pollution.

Components like microprocessors and memories must control and reduce their overall power consumption, while operating at the highest performance possible. Performance degradation happens when insufficient power is delivered to the ICs within the system that is often caused by power delivery network (PDN) integrity issues. Ensuring PDN quality is key to achieving the delicate balance between power and performance trade-off requirements and maintaining power integrity for system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

PowerArtist ― software from ANSYS subsidiary Apache Design ― is a register transfer language (RTL) power analysis and optimization platform that enables design teams to gain greater insight into IC power consumption at an early stage and allows implementation of various power optimization techniques. PowerArtist’s RTL Power Model (RPM) technology bridges the gap between RTL design and physical power integrity by enabling early PDN and package prototyping, as well as sign-off coverage for power integrity analysis. The RedHawk power integrity analysis platform ensures PDN quality to meet performance requirements. RedHawk technology enables validation and power grid sign-off for designs with respect to noise and reliability considerations.

Since power management is not limited to just lowering power, silicon-proven ultra-low-power tools and methodologies help chip designers to optimize for lower power ― and preserve PDN integrity ― to achieve performance targets. Employing power budgeting very early in the chip design cycle at the RTL phase helps to address the increasing power gap as well as ensure power delivery network integrity of the system.