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9x increase in thermal engineers using cloud simulation

6SigmaET from Cadence Design Systems releases the State of Thermal 2022 report


  • There has been a 9-fold increase in the number of engineers solving thermal simulations in the cloud over the last five years
  • While in 2017 only 2% of engineers were solving thermal simulations on the cloud, in 2022 this figure has risen to 18%
  • Twice as many engineers are working from HPC clusters compared to five years ago
  • 52% of engineers now use laptops for thermal simulation rather than desktop PCs


Every five years, 6SigmaET (now part of Cadence Design Systems) releases its State of Thermal report examining changes in the thermal simulation industry. This years’ report includes data from over 150 thermal engineers working in the electronics industry (including users of the top ten thermal simulation suites), examines the changing nature of the industry and the adoption of new technologies for thermal design. 


6SigmaET’s data shows a 9-fold increase in the number of engineers solving thermal simulations in the cloud over the last five years.

According to the report, thermal simulation of electronics is becoming increasingly complex, requiring more powerful hardware to deal with fine levels of detail. However, flexibility is also an increasingly important consideration, especially the ability to work without relying on on-premises hardware. While in 2017 only 2% of engineers were solving thermal simulations on the cloud, in 2022 this figure has risen to 18% — a 9-fold increase.

By solving on the cloud, engineers are cutting up-front investment costs and reducing solve times, regardless of their on-premise hardware or locations.

6SigmaET’s research also highlights changes in the hardware engineers are using for simulation. Twice as many engineers are working from HPC clusters compared to five years ago, with 1 in 5 engineers choosing to work this way. Additionally, laptops have become more popular, with 52% of engineers now using laptops for thermal simulation rather than desktop PCs.

The report highlights the rate of cloud adoption among thermal engineers who recognise that the cloud is an increasingly viable means of performing fast, accurate thermal simulation. While desktops remain the dominant choice, the rise in laptop users shows that using a desktop is now an option rather than an imperative, suggesting thermal engineers are taking advantage of the computing power available from solving in the cloud. As cloud-solving technology becomes more widely established, companies are going to be able to move away from the rigidity of the desktop and towards simulation providers that suit their desire for faster solving.


“It’s ironic that, in a profession that can be so technically complex and challenging, all thermal engineers really want is simplicity. Give them reliable tools with simple, intuitive interfaces, and they have the best possible chance of delivering fast, accurate results.

“The drastic increase of engineers using thermal simulation software as part of their design testing is testament to this. Engineers know that the time and money it can save on product development could revolutionise their day-to-day.

“Despite this, many engineers remain at the mercy of insufficient tools. Most are in agreement that simulations take too long to execute, with many lamenting ‘lock in’ with their employer’s chosen provider.

“Tackling these issues in the long term requires  a focus on developing dependable, streamlined, precise simulation platforms that can deliver at high speeds. With hardware continuing to evolve at breakneck speed – including the means to solve in the cloud – the platforms that engineers use day-to-day need to develop at a similar rate.”


To download a copy of 6SigmaET’s State of Thermal report visit:

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