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Ansys Sherlock
Complete Life Predictions for Electronics Components

Ansys Sherlock is the only reliability physics-based electronics design tool that provides fast and accurate life predictions for electronic hardware at the component, board and system levels in early stage design.

Ansys Sherlock Automated Design Analysis for Product Life Prediction

Ansys Sherlock automated design analysis provides fast and accurate life predictions for electronic hardware at the component, board and system levels in early design stages. Sherlock bypasses the ‘test-fail-fix-repeat’ cycle by empowering designers to accurately model silicon–metal layers, semiconductor packaging, printed circuit boards (PCBs) and assemblies to predict failure risks due to thermal, mechanical and manufacturing stressors--all before prototype.

  • Validated Time-To-Failure Predictions
    Validated Time-To-Failure Predictions
  • Ansys Icepak & Mechanical Integrated Workflow
    Ansys Icepak & Mechanical Integrated Workflow
  • Rapid ECAD to FEA Translation
    Rapid ECAD to FEA Translation
  • Complete Product Lifetime Curve
    Complete Product Lifetime Curve

Quick Specs

With embedded libraries containing over 500,000 parts, Sherlock rapidly converts electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) files into computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) models. Each model contains accurate geometries, material properties and translates stress information into validated time-to-failure predictions.

  • Drop Test Simulation
  • Locked IP Model
  • Default Package Geometries
  • Thermal Analysis Prep
  • Over 500,000 Parts Library
  • Ansys Workbench Integration
  • PCB and PCBA Materials
  • Shock/Vibration/Thermal Cycling Analysis
  • 1-D/3-D Solder Failure Predictions
  • Trace & Via Capture

Ansys Sherlock for Predicting Thermal Stress Fatigue in Solder Balls

Continental Automotive uses Sherlock to model BGA solder balls to ensure that even small solder fatigue failures are captured and analyzed.


Sherlock Workbench

By implementing Sherlock early in the design stage, the engineers at Continental were able to use Sherlock’s reliability predictions to modify their board for better design, as well as identify areas that needed investigation before prototype.

To begin product reliability analyses using Ansys Sherlock, the engineers at Continental imported a Zuken ODB++ file into Sherlock. Sherlock quickly read all information in the file and generated a representative board with complete stack-up data, including all components and mounting conditions with their exact locations and material characteristics. The board also featured mirrored BGA components and conformal coating that Sherlock modeled accurately using the available potting functionality.

Sherlock effortlessly modeled individual components with a high level of detail, including modeling each solder ball on the BGA to ensure that even small solder fatigue failures would be captured. For non-standard components, users could input those properties into the Package Manager, as well as retain this information for future use.

What's New

In 2021 R2, Ansys Sherlock features new capabilities that include broader integrations with tools in the Structures portfolio, advanced workflows for improved modeling and analysis and more.

What's New

Sherlock APIs

Sherlock Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Automation

APIs are now available for Ansys Sherlock 2020 R1. Sherlock APIs enable users to:

  • Run Simulations in batch mode
  • Automate processes and standardize methods
  • Explore the impact of design and event variations on life prediction and other metrics. 
Sherlock Workbench

Sherlock Plug-ins in Ansys Workbench

Sherlock-Worbench integration simplifies, accelerates, and expands mechanical, thermal and reliability simulations of electronics systems.

  • Automates export of geometry and properties from Ansys Sherlock to Ansys Mechanical
  • Automates the import of simulation results from Ansys Mechanical back to Ansys Sherlock for Life Prediction calculations 
Sherlock Meshing Engine

New Sherlock Meshing Engine

The new  Sherlock meshing engine enables:

  • A new default meshing approach with improved performance for higher quality meshes.
  • Additional controls are available for PCB Modeling, Trace Modeling, etc. when preparing a model for simulation or export.



Electronics Reliability

Learn how Ansys integrated electronics reliability tools can help you  solve your biggest thermal, electrical and mechanical reliability challenges.

electronics hfss pcb

PCBs, ICs, and IC Packages

Ansys’ complete PCB design solution enables you to simulates PCBs, ICs, and packages and accurately evaluate an entire system.

Sherlock Applications

Design for Reliability From the Very Start of your Project

Electrical, mechanical, reliability engineers and more can work in tandem to implement design best practices, predict product lifetimes and reduce failure risks.

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. In post-processing simulation results from Icepak and Mechanical, Sherlock is able to predict test success, estimate warranty return rates and make Icepak and Mechanical users more efficient by directly connecting simulation to material and manufacturing costs.


Key Features

Unlike any other tool on the market, Sherlock uses files created by your design team to build 3D models of electronic 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.

  • Builds and tests virtual products
  • Modifies designs in near real-time
  • Quickly runs mechanical simulations
  • Evaluates and optimizes design choices

Pre-Processor for Ansys Mechanical & Ansys Icepak

Sherlock’s over 500,000 parts materials library enables the creation of accurate and complex FEA models. These models can be imported directly into Mechanical and Icepak for improved model fidelity and analysis.

Sherlock’s post-processing tool includes reporting and recommendations, a lifetime curve graph, red-yellow-green risk indicators, tabular display, graphic overlay, pinned results based on reliability goals, automated report generation and a locked IP model for review by suppliers and customers.

Sherlock’s Thermal-Mech capability incorporates the effect of system-level mechanical elements (chassis, module, housing, connectors, etc.) on solder fatigue analysis by capturing complex, mixed mode loading conditions. Sherlock also supports the use of Darveaux or Syed models in Ansys Mechanical by pushing simulation-ready models of BGA, CSP, SiP, and 2.5D/3D packaging.

Aging and wear-out of integrated circuits are captured through acceleration transforms for electromigration, time-dependent dielectric breakdown, hot carrier injection and negative bias temperature instability. Supplier-specific time to failure predictions for aluminum liquid electrolytic capacitors and ceramic capacitors (MLCC) is provided. Finally, Sherlock automates the thermal derating process and flags devices being used outside of the specified operation or storage temperature range.

Physics of Failure (PoF), or Reliability Physics, uses degradation algorithms that describe how physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal or electrical mechanisms can decline over time and eventually induce failure. Sherlock uses these algorithms to assess thermal cycling, mechanical shock, natural frequency, harmonic vibration, random vibration, bending, integrated circuit/semiconductor wear-out, thermal derating, conductive anodic filament (CAF) qualification and more.

  • Captures stackup from output files (Gerber, ODB++, IPC-2581)
  • Automatically calculates weight, density and in-plane and out-of-plane modulus, coefficient of thermal expansion and thermal conductivity
  • Allows the user to explicitly model all PCB features (such as traces and vias) over the entire circuit board or in a region using either 1D/2D reinforcements or 3D solids 
  • Captures over 40 different part and package parameters using the embedded parts/package/material libraries
  • Geometry with material properties can be exported for current density (SIwave), thermal (Icepak) or structural (Mechanical) analysis

Sherlock’s powerful parsing engine (capable of importing Gerber, ODB++ and IPC-2581 files, etc.) and embedded libraries (containing over 500,000 parts) automatically builds box-level FEA models with accurate material properties—reducing pre-processing time from days to minutes.

This includes our heatsink editor, where users can create pin- and fin-based heatsinks using fill-in fields and drop-down menus and attach them to components or PCBs. Users can also add a wide variety of conformal coatings, potting compounds, underfills, and staking adhesives so the FEA model best represents the real world.


Featured Webinars

On Demand Webinar
Icepak and Sherlock For Temperature Cycling

Ansys Icepak and Sherlock For Temperature Cycling

This webinar will demonstrate an automated process of thermal modeling of printed circuit boards. It will present a workflow to translate ECAD data to a thermal and mechanical model in Ansys Icepak, followed by the transfer of results into Ansys Sherlock for solder fatigue analysis.

On Demand Webinar
Modeling and Simulation of PCB

Hybrid Techniques for the Modeling and Simulation of PCBs

In this webinar, we will explore Ansys simulation solutions for modeling PCBs and identify which techniques are best-suited for a particular problem.

On Demand Webinar
Reliability Analysis of PCB

Reliability Analysis of PCBs with Ansys HFSS, Icepak, Mechanical and Sherlock

In this webinar, learn how Ansys SIwave, Ansys Icepak, Ansys Mechanical and Ansys Sherlock can be used as a comprehensive multi-physics solution to optimize PCB reliability.


White Papers


Ansys whitepaper Failure Modeling

Accelerating Auto Electronics Reliability Using Physics of Failure Modeling

Learn the best way to ensure automotive electronics reliability by taking the Physics of Failure approach, which uses science to capture an understanding of failure mechanisms.

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