ANSYS Sherlock

ANSYS Sherlock

Automated Design Analysis

ANSYS Sherlock Automated Design Analysis software is the only Reliability Physics/Physics of Failure (PoF)-based electronics design software that provides fast and accurate life predictions for electronic hardware at the component, board and system levels in early design stages.

Sherlock revolutionizes electronic design by empowering designers to simulate real-world conditions and accurately model PCBs and assemblies to predict solder fatigue due to thermal, mechanical, and shock and vibration conditions.

Approximately 73% of product development costs are spent on the test-fail-fix-repeat cycle. Sherlock design software provides fast and accurate reliability predictions in the earliest design stages tailored to specific materials, components, dies, printed circuit board (PCB)/ball grid array (BGA) stackups and specific use conditions.

With libraries containing over 500,000 parts, Sherlock reduces FEA modeling time and provides insights before prototyping, eliminating test failures and design flaws, while accelerating product qualification and the introduction of groundbreaking technologies.

During pre-processing, Sherlock automatically translates ECAD and MCAE data into 3D finite element models in minutes. In post-processing, Sherlock automates thermal derating and democratizes the thermal and mechanical analysis of electronics — meaning analysis is done in 45 minutes rather than weeks.

Sherlock seamlessly integrates with already existing simulation workflows in the hardware design process. It is most valuable when implemented in the early design stages, such as:

  • Initial part selection
  • Initial part placement
  • Selecting final bill of material
  • Final layout
  • Design for Manufacturing

Sherlock makes ANSYS SIwave, ANSYS Icepak and ANSYS Mechanical users more efficient. It directly connects simulation to material and manufacturing costs.

Additionally, Sherlock’s Locked IP Model protects intellectual property in the supply chain. With the Locked IP Model, you can transfer designs back and forth between design suppliers and design users while preserving PCB design details; the intended use of the PCB design will not be disclosed via environmental conditions or reliability requirements. This communication tool enables two entities to work together on a system with a layer of trust built into the reliability calculations.

Sherlock simplifies and improves reliability prediction using a unique, three-phase process consisting of data input, analysis, and reporting and recommendations.

With its extensive parts/materials libraries, Sherlock automatically identifies your files and imports your parts list, then builds a finite element analysis model of your circuit board in minutes by:

  • Parsing standard EDA files (schematic, layout, parts list) automatically
  • Using embedded libraries (part, package, materials, solder, laminate)
  • Building box-level finite element analysis models

Sherlock produces a holistic analysis that is critical in the development of reliable electronics products. It enables designers to simulate each environment, failure mechanism and assembly that a product might encounter over its lifespan.

Assessment options include:

  • Thermal cycling
  • Mechanical shock
  • Natural frequency
  • Harmonic vibration
  • Random vibration
  • Bending
  • Integrated circuit/semiconductor wear-out
  • Thermal derating
  • Conductive anodic filament (CAF) qualification
  • High-fidelity PCB modeling

Sherlock presents results in multiple formats, including comprehensive, professional reports suitable for internal and external distribution. Available report forms include:

  • Complete life curves (not available from other software suppliers)
  • Tables
  • Histograms
  • Overlays


Leveraging Physics of Failure

Instead of using statistical models to predict reliability without gaining insight into why something failed, Sherlock’s Physics of Failure-based approach leverages knowledge and understanding of the processes and mechanisms that induce failure in order to improve product performance.

Accelerating Design Analytics

Unlike any other tool on the market, Sherlock uses files created by your design team to build 3D models of electronics assemblies for trace modeling, post-processing of finite element analysis and reliability predictions. This early insight translates to almost immediate identification of areas of concern and gives you the ability to quickly adjust and retest designs.

Reducing Manufacturing Risk

Design for Manufacturability (DfM) and Design for Reliability (DfR) are not mutually exclusive. Sherlock considers both to mitigate manufacturing risk by assessing solder reliability, strain measurement, suppliers, materials selection and post-assembly handling operations.

Faster Testing

Product development requires a substantial investment of time and money — and it doesn’t guarantee passing qualification testing the first time. Sherlock reduces expensive build-and-test iterations by virtually running thermal cycling, power-temperature cycling, vibration, shock, bending, thermal derating, accelerated life, natural frequency, CAF and more so you can adjust designs in near real-time and achieve qualification in one round.