Mini Computer Case Study


While developing a portable mini android based computer, Theclient of Aavid, Thermal division of Boyd Corporation, hadexperienced issues with its new product’s reliability. Theminicomputer was configured to shut down when temperaturesinside reached 45°C and was doing so unexpectedly duringcharging. For the client time was critical as the manufacturingline was stopped to resolve this issue.

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The Challenge

Quickly detect failure shutdown by analyzing current solution anddesign and make suggestions to solve the issue.

The Solution

Over a weekend Aavid developed a thermal model of the existingproduct and verified the model through physical testing in theirlab.

Aavid conducted a CFD simulation for various concept solutionsthat examined heat isolation and heat transfer within the device.

The Deliverables/Results

Aavid discovered that:

• Charging increased the battery temperature by 5.3°C but theincrease in temperature is due to heat conducted from the PCB tothe battery.
• PCB temperature results indicated that it heats up earlier than thebattery to more than 45°C and results in system shutdown.
• With minor adjustments to the design, Aavid was able to isolatecomponents for the product to operate in all modes.

The client took Aavid’s suggestions to adjust the layout in thedevice to prevent future shutdown during charging and returnedto manufacturing with limited delay.

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