Aavid Genie - Frequently Asked Questions

A quick resource on the usage and benefits of Aavid’s Heat Sink Design Tool


General Aavid Genie Questions

What is the Aavid Genie?

The Aavid Genie is a cloud-based system solver designed to simulate air cooled heat sinks. Input your requirements and parameters into Aavid Genie and it will guide you through designing a manufacturable heat sink with a thermal report. Simulations are free and do not require any licensing fees. There are no minimum or maximum uses, you can use the Aavid Genie one time or over one thousand times in a year.

Why should I use Aavid Genie?

Aavid Genie has a simple web-based interface that helps you build your heat sink, define your conditions, and conducts a thermal simulation within minutes. This free tool is a simplified interface that utilizes the Aavid SmartCFD core software that was designed with decades of empirical thermal management data and correlates significantly with actual performance.

Aavid Genie enables you to conduct fast and reasonably accurate simulations of your air cooled heat sink to help you in the initial discovery and feasibility phases of your project.

Thermal reports, 2D drawings, and 3D models come with each simulation and are available for download in the Next Steps portion of the Genie. You can also request a quote for either for prototypes or production parts directly from the application.

Learn more about How to Download Drawings and Models in Aavid Genie.

What do I need to know before I use Aavid Genie?

The Genie saves your progress as you go so you can pick up and put down a project any time, even if you need to check an input. Please view our Aavid Genie Get Started page for the complete list of inputs and related Aavid Genie articles to help you make the best use of this online tool.

How do I start using Aavid Genie?

You can register and start right away in the Aavid Genie App.

Aavid Genie has handy tips to help you along your project.

If you require more guidance, view the Quick Start Guide or view an in-depth Aavid Genie video tutorial.

Does Aavid Genie have any software requirements?

Aavid Genie works best on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, macOS Safari, and Microsoft Edge. Aavid Genie is also compatible with Internet Explorer 11.




Genie Steps: Project Conditions

I have a range of environmental conditions, what should I tell Aavid Genie?

For conservative results, use the harshest potential conditions that are likely to affect your heat sink. Typically, this means the highest elevation and highest temperature that the devices or complete product will experience.

Read more about Environmental Conditions for more information on what inputs to use in the Genie.



What does the Genie mean by “Working Envelope”? br />
This is the volume you have available for your heat sink. If you don’t have a fixed volume that you are working with, try using the largest preferred volume for your heat sink. Be sure to take into consideration any existing enclosures or ducts as those may dictate specific dimensions available to you. br />
Read more about what Aavid Genie means by working envelope and what values to use. br />


How does Aavid Genie define depth?

In Aavid Genie, “depth” is the flow length of the fins. In other words, the depth is the direction perpendicular to the heat sink profile.

What does the Genie mean by “Total Load of Devices”?

Your device may be powered by 100 W but is only dissipating 20 W as heat. The 20 W is what the heat sink will need to dissipate, so that is what your input to Aavid Genie should be. Read more about how to determine Total Load of Devices and what values to use in Aavid Genie.

I have multiple devices, what should I input as the Total Heat Source Size?

In the project conditions page, Aavid Genie allows you to customize the size of your device. This is only to get an estimation of the power density and its effect on heat spreading in the base. You should select dimensions that will generate a footprint area equivalent to the sum of the footprint area all the devices will have on your base.

Learn more about determining Total Heat Source Size in Aavid Genie.

Why does Aavid Genie only apply Radiation to Natural Convection cases?

Aavid Genie will only apply the effects of radiation to heat sinks that have no forced flow or are removing heat by natural convection. This is because the effect of radiation is a noticeable portion of heat transfer during natural convection, but negligible in forced convection situations.

Should I use the Maximum Case Temperature or Thermal Resistance of my device?

It depends upon what value you have available to you, but they both will produce a maximum case temperature. If you have neither of these values, the Maximum Case Temperature may be the easier to calculate from the datasheet of your device.

Read about how to Calculate the Maximum Case Temperature of your device.

I only have the Maximum Junction Temperature of my device, how do I calculate the Maximum Case Temperature?

Learn more how to Calculate the Maximum Case Temperature of your device based on your device datasheet’s thermal section.



How do I know what my Maximum Pressure Drop is?

Consider what is producing your airflow. If you aren’t using a fan, you have minimal pressure drop available to you. If you are using a fan or blower, you will need to consider a fan curve (PQ Curve). If you have an air flow for a whole system, you will need to consider the other elements in your system in relation to the fan curve.




Genie Steps: Technology Selection

How do I know what my Maximum Pressure Drop is?

Aavid Genie first tries to find a heat sink that meets your project conditions. If Genie cannot find a solution for that Technology/Flow combination, the box in the matrix will be colored red, with the condition that isn’t being met written in red text. Aavid Genie then reduces the amount of material of each Technology/Flow Combination, while still meeting the project conditions.

How do I pick a heat sink type/technology?

This is dependent on your requirements and preference. Within the application, you can have Genie evaluate the technology/flow combinations based on your key requirements such as weight or size. This allows you to choose the technology that best suits your needs.

How do I pick between natural or forced convection?

This is dependent on our application requirements and conditions. Applications that experience debris, require high reliability beyond what a fan would allow, or are extremely noise sensitive would be good candidates for natural convection. Additionally, smaller and lower power applications may not require forced convection.

Read more about the comparison between Natural Convection versus Forced Convection.



What are extrusion heat sinks?

Read about Extruded Heat Sink Technology.

What are bonded fin heat sinks?

Learn more about Bonded Fin Heat Sink Assembly Technology.

What are brazed fin heat sinks?

Read about Brazed Fin Heat Sink Assembly Technology.

What are folded fin heat sinks?

Learn about the Folded Fin Heat Sink Assembly Technology.

What are skived fin heat sinks?

Read about the Skived Fin Heat Sink Technology.

What are zipper fin heat sinks?

Learn about the Zipper Fin Heat Sink Assembly Technology.




Genie Steps: Heat Sink Design

Where are heat pipes placed in the base?

If you have a single heat pipe and single device, Aavid Genie will center the heat pipe on the device.

To see how the Aavid Genie handles multiple heat pipes, see the Heat Pipe Placement in Aavid Genie Page.

Should I have my heat pipe perpendicular or parallel to the fins?

This depends upon the application, but generally the heat pipes should be perpendicular to the fins so the heat pipe can spread the heat more effectively throughout the fins.

What does “Fixed Heat Sink Height” mean?

This option allows you to alter the base thickness or fin height without changing the total set height of the heat sink. This is important when working within a fixed height enclosure or duct. For example: in many server applications, boards must fit within predefined heights, so if a board and its solution need to stay within a 1U envelope, the heat sink height cannot be increased past that height.




Genie Steps: Flow Definition



Do I need a flow bypass for my heat sink?

If you have a fixed duct and your heat sink is smaller than this duct size, then you will have a bypass. Bypasses decrease the amount of airflow through the fins and decreases both the thermal performance (i.e. higher thermal resistance) and the pressure drop.

Read about how Aavid Genie applies Ducting and Bypass.




Genie Steps: Flow Definition



What is a “Uniform Heat Load” and why would I add one to my heat sink?

A Uniform Heat Load in Aavid Genie allows you to account for additional smaller heat sources not worth individually modeling and defining in Genie, but collectively they contribute to the overall heat load. This will distribute the additional heat load uniformly across the heat sink base and offer a more accurate simulation of your heat sink’s thermal performance.

Do I need to include an interface resistance?

If you’re looking for quick answers and a general sense of how your heat sink will work, you can omit a thermal interface resistance. Otherwise you should include an interface resistance in your Aavid Genie Simulation. Unless there is something that prevents you from using any thermal interface material (TIM) in your application, you should always include TIM between your heat source and your heat sink.

Read more about how TIMs work or how to use thermal interface materials in Aavid Genie.

Where am I placing my heat sources when I move them around on Aavid Genie?

The grey box represents the board or mountable area that the heat sink will cover.

Read more about how Aavid Genie orients the Heat Sources in the user interface in relation to your heat sink.


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