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Seagate Builds Reliability with Coolit
Posted Fri November 11, 2005 @05:01PM
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Application Seagate prides itself on the reliability of its hard drives and counts on Coolit to help it create thermal designs that ensure this high reliability.

Take for example, a low cost, 3-1/2 inch external hard drive that was developed for the retail desktop market. The unit was cooled by conduction and free convection, and air had to move freely through the unit whether it was in the vertical or horizontal position. Fans were not an option for cost and acoustical reasons.

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To design the unit’s custom heat sink, engineering had to balance fin size, shape, number, as well as fin locations. If the heat sink were too large, it would choke off the cooling air. If there were too many fins, air could not effectively snake among them. And the design had to be stamped in order to minimize manufacturing cost.

The industrial design team decreed that the number of vents had to be minimized for esthetic reasons. So engineering had to identify the strategic vent locations that would allow adequate air movement into and out of the housing.

Juggling the conflicting requirements using conventional techniques would have demanded numerous physical prototypes tested, modified and tested again until engineering zeroed in on a workable design. The entire costly process would have taken weeks and possibly even months to complete.

“By enlisting Coolit, we were able to complete the project in a fraction of the time,” notes Seagate’s design engineer.

Multiple design scenarios were built and analyzed in less than a week and an optimized thermal design was delivered without once bending metal or cutting prototypes.

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