Enabling EMI Clean Design: Starting with PCB SI & PI Analysis

With the trend to more high-performance and compact systems, EMI compliance has become a critical metric for system success in the automotive, computing, and aerospace industries. EMI issues discovered late in the design cycle can result in the entire system failing to meet regulatory EMI/EMC requirements. Addressing regulatory compliance and product debug can cost not only engineering time to investigate and mitigate issues, but can also threaten product release dates. PCB designers, therefore, need a strategy to address potential EMI issues early in their design, to ensure the system meets EMI compliance. Continue reading

Solving the Engineering Simulation License Crunch on Campuses

engineering simulation campus-wide licensing at University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales employs campus-wide licensing to serve many departments. Photo courtesy UNSW.

Engineering simulation products are invaluable to professors in multidisciplinary research and teaching. Students recognize the importance of simulation skills as they graduate into industry. To gain this experience students embrace simulation to write theses and participate in student competitions. However, professors and students are facing some real challenges as the use of engineering simulation ramps up.

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SimCafe.org: An Easy-to-Use Online Resource for Learning and Teaching Engineering Simulation

Recent technological developments have significantly lowered the barriers to entry in FEA and CFD, leading to excitement about the “democratization of simulation”. Employers are looking for engineers who have FEA and CFD skills in their repertoire and students are eager to pick up these skills. However, faculty have found it difficult to integrate industry-standard simulations tools into core engineering curricula for a variety of reasons including lack of teaching materials that connect simulations with existing textbook content.

Cornell University SimCafeThe SimCafe wiki at simcafe.org is being developed at Cornell University as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and to provide a resource for supplementary learning. Professors and students around the world use simcafe.org  for free to teach and to learn simulations. SimCafe learning modules on FEA and CFD cover a broad spectrum of subjects: solid mechanics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer. Short embedded YouTube videos demonstrate the software steps. Continue reading

Coupling Piezoelectric and Fluid Simulations

ink jet nozzle

Ink jet nozzle

Piezoelectric devices surround us in our everyday life. Our cars and trucks contain many piezoelectric devices, including fuel level sensors, air bag deployment sensors, parking sensors and piezoelectric generators in the wheels to power the tire pressure monitoring system. Your smartphones or tablet contains piezoelectric sensors that detect the motion and orientation of the device, which my kids were using to good effect to play “Need For Speed” yesterday. Many of us have ink jet printers at home, which can use piezoelectric printer heads to eject thousands of drops per second. Continue reading

System-level Approach to Robust ESD Design

The battle is on for manufacturers of automotive, medical, industrial and consumer electronics to drive new innovations, deliver exciting products, and ensure safety and reliability of the devices that proliferate our world. Mobile devices that are intended to interact with our world face unique reliability challenges such as electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, making a robust ESD design a necessity. While we want our mobile phone, tablet and smartwatch to be “connected” and “interactive”, the number of interface ports on these devices make them vulnerable to an ESD event. Interfaces such as network connectors, USB ports, and antennas need careful planning of the location and size of ESD protection structures. Continue reading

How Bioreactors Are Keeping Cells Happy

image of mixing tank velocity surface cell bioreactor

Velocity iso-surface colored by Eddy viscosity

Cell-culture bioreactors lie at the heart of the processes used to produce large-molecule, protein-based therapeutics. In cell culture, mammalian cells are grown outside the human/plant body. These cells produce therapeutic proteins and antibodies. This is much easier said than done. In fact, cells do not cooperate much when they are grown outside the (human or plant) body. The question then is: Why is it so difficult for cells in culture to have the same physiological function in laboratory as in our body? Continue reading

Engineering Wearable Technology for the Internet of Things

image of wearable technology internet of thingsThere are already 1.9 billion devices connected to the internet — from home thermostats to fitness bands and refrigerators — with that number slated to reach over 9 billion by 2018. In terms of dollars, according to the latest forecast from IDC, the Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow to more than $7 trillion, up from $2 trillion today with wearable technology leading the way. Continue reading

Using CHEMKIN Simulation Software for Complex Chemical Processes

As a new member of the ANSYS family, via the Reaction Design acquisition, I thought I would take the opportunity to give you a little background on the product line I represent — CHEMKIN.

The software had its beginnings at Sandia National Laboratories, as part of the U.S. Government’s response to the oil crisis of the 1970s. Scientists at Sandia began studying how to make more efficient, cleaner-burning engines, and they created software to simulate the complex molecular-level chemical reactions that take place during fuel combustion. In 1997, Reaction Design licensed that software from Sandia and evolved the technology into a commercial-quality software suite that enables engineers and scientists in microelectronics, combustion and chemical processing industries to develop a comprehensive understanding of chemical processes and kinetics. Continue reading