The only simulator in the industry to enable web-based electrically and thermally coupled analysis.

ROHM Semiconductor has announced the addition of a new thermal analysis function to the ROHM Solution Simulator. This new feature allows circuit and system designers in the automotive and industrial markets to collectively verify power devices and driver IC thermal issues on different solution circuits.

The ROHM Solution Simulator, which runs on ROHM’s website, makes it possible to carry out a variety of simulations for free, all the way from component selection to individual device and even system-level verification. This enables easy and accurate verification of ROHM products, such as silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices, driver/power supply ICs, and passive components (e.g., shunt resistors) in solution circuits under near-actual application conditions.

Released in 2020, the ROHM Solution Simulator lines with the company’s overall focus, which is 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 positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heaters (heaters specifically designed for electric vehicles without internal combustion engines) equipped with insulated-gate bipolar transistor (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.

The ROHM Solution Simulator is the only simulator in the industry that enables web-based electrically and thermally coupled analysis of not only 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 one full 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 devices prior to prototyping (instead of after, as is currently the case), thereby reducing the need for rework. At the same time, the amount of development resources required for applications where heat is an issue decreases.

Going forward, ROHM will continue to implement thermal analysis functions in solutions circuits compatible with the ROHM Solution Simulator, focusing on the latest SiC devices, to further reduce the resources required for application development and prevent issues.