SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Promising an enhanced ability to model the electrical characteristics of IC packages, Fluent Inc. has rolled out Icemax 2.0. The new offering may help prevent some of the packaging problems that have come to plague PCB designers.
Fluent (Lebanon, N.H.), a provider of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and consulting services, primarily serves a mechanical CAD market concerned with fluid flow, heat and mass transfer. But the company also addresses the EDA market with Icemax.
Icemax includes a 3D flow field solver, and offers parasitic RLC (resistance-inductance-capacitance) extraction of IC package layouts. Icemax 2.0 adds detailed analysis of multiport nets, mesher and solver optimization for full package extraction of high-pin count packages, and a parametric solution capability that enables a frequency sweep and a detailed design optimization.
In the new version, users can generate multi-port Spice models representing power/ground nets coupled with signal nets. These models can then be used for simulating problems such as simultaneous switching noise and ground bounce. Another new feature lets users set up multiple runs automatically within the same model context.
The new version adds support for Linux. According to Rajesh Nair, Icemax product manager, the new version's memory management and parallel computing technologies make it possible to solve 10-layer flip chip, 1,200-pin layouts in a matter of hours.
As noted in recent PCB Perspectives columns at EEdesign, IC and FPGA packaging problems have become a serious issue for board designers. The primary problem is parasitic package inductance, leading to ground bounce and simultaneous switching noise.