26 May, 2021
The ECXML file format is a vendor-neutral file format that enables component suppliers, ODMs and hardware manufacturers to work together without being reliant on using the same simulation software. Engineers can select software based on performance and functionality without worrying about supply chain or legacy data.
We are seeing more and more sectors adopt ECXML into their workflow to make file transfer across toolsets easier. Xilinx, a well-known technology company that supplies programmable logic devices, recently adopted ECXML as a valid means of file transfer. This blog describes how to import Xilinx ECXML files into thermal simulation software 6SigmaET.
The neutral ECXML file format is an unencrypted XML-based format used for the exchange of thermal models. It contains the basic building blocks needed to create a thermal model. 6SigmaET, Ansys Icepak and Flotherm have all committed to supporting this format to allow the exchange of models between their tools.
There are a wide range of FPGA thermal models available on the Xilinx website. Detailed or simplified models can be downloaded from Xilinx in ECXML format and imported into 6SigmaET. If you cannot find the thermal model you need in ECXML format, please send a Service Request to Xilinx, which you can do from your Service Portal.
To import Xilinx ECXML files into 6SigmaET:
1. Download the relevant ECXML files from the Xilinx website
2. In 6SigmaET, open the model where you wish to import the component
3. On the Import ribbon, click the ECXML button
4. Select ECXML Component
5. Select the ECXML file, then click Open
All subcomponents, subcomponent groups, heat sources and sensors in the ECXML file are imported into 6SigmaET. Any other object types in the file are ignored during the import. The objects are imported as a child of a detailed component.
Expand the nodes in the Model Tree to see the structure of the imported file.
To use the imported component in other 6SigmaET models, you can add it to the 6SigmaET library. To do this:
6.Click the Object Panel tab, then expand the 6SigmaLibrary tab
7.Click the Pop-Out button
This opens the 6SigmaET library in a second panel, allowing you to easily drag items from the Model Tree into the library. You can only add items to custom folders you have created yourself – the Design Libraries and Vendor Libraries folders are non-editable. If you already have custom library folders created, you can skip steps 8 and 9.
8. Right-click an empty area of the Library tab, then click Create Library
9. Specify a name for the library folder, then click OK
10. In the Model Tree tab, drag the imported component from the Model Tree into your chosen library folder
The component is added to the selected library folder. To use it in other models, drag the component from the library into the Graphical View or the Model Tree.
ECXML is gaining traction as a more widely accepted format for the transfer of thermal models. As more suppliers adopt ECXML as a valid means of file transfer, it will become easier to collaborate across engineering teams and sectors. Furthermore, engineers can easily switch from one simulation package to another thanks to ECXML because their legacy models can come with them. Engineers will therefore have more freedom to choose the best simulation package for their designs and will no longer be tied to their company’s legacy simulation packages.
Blog written by: Claire Smith, Senior Technical Author
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