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Development of complex electronic packages requires a judicious combination of experimentation and modeling. Fabrication costs of electronic packaging prototypes can be prohibitive; therefore, the building of effective virtual prototypes provides an important challenge for the modeling community. Fortunately, finite-element modeling (FEM) has become sufficiently mature to allow technologists to develop reliable insights into the thermal and mechanical integrity of proposed structures. For modeling to be leveraged as an effective means of avoiding thermally related mechanical problems, the diversity in size scale found in three-dimensional electronic packages must be carefully considered and addressed. Employing three distinct examples, we summarize our experience and insights in applying FEM in order to make informed decisions in the early stages of product package research and development.
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