OpenVPX Chassis Thermal Management: Dangerous Myths and Analytical Tools

The Defense and Aerospace rugged systems market demands a wide range of computing capabilities at extreme environmental conditions. Across the board, applications need more processing power and, inevitably, thermal management becomes more challenging as the amount of processing power grows.  The increase in thermal management challenges is also tied to the industry shift from VME implementations to OpenVPX. Certain myths and misconceptions can further complicate the issue for systems designers, while analytic tools exist to help efficiently address thermal management designs. OpenVPX systems offer a huge performance leap over VME systems but there is also a significant increase in the complexity of the thermal management; design approaches used with VME are no longer viable. To avoid cooling issues during an OpenVPX chassis project, thermal criteria need to be defined early in the life cycle. Fortunately, there are several viable cooling methods as well as analytic tools to evaluate these methods based on system configurations and application requirements.  This white paper examines both the myths and the tools, providing a foundation for better understanding and better design decisions. 

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