IDC2D – A Bitmap Based 2d Copper Plane Current Density Simulation



-          9 May 2007 Initial release.  Still at a beta stage – usable, but not thoroughly debugged or the results verified with measurements.

-          21 Oct 2007 – A new developer has added new features to the project: faster threaded calculations, and saving calculation results.  As well, preliminary measurements in one case (on a section of a backplane) show close agreement with calculated values.

-          22 Nov 2007 – Many new features have been added such as the ability to zoom into the bitmap images and examine the current density and voltage of the associated pixels.

-          28 Jan 2008 – Version 0.3 introduced which rolls up contributions of all developers and updates the GUI.  A color picker saves some time in defining colors and associated meanings.  Added temperature input that applies to all materials.






IDC2D is a entry level program to estimate the current density within the power plane of a PCB.  Power distribution in a PCB circuit is often done through layers of copper embedded in the circuit board.  Voids are created in this layer to allow for other signals and component leads to pass through the board.  To ensure that enough copper remains to carry the required current, a 2d (2 dimensional) simulation can be run.  Commercial products are available to do these calculations based on extracting the required information from the PCB design software.  They often use a mesh representation to create a 2d or 3d model as an input to a finite element analysis program.  While computationally more efficient than the approach taken here, the setup and learning curve for these products makes the effort too great for many smaller projects.











Future Work