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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 for Product Life Prediction

Ansys Sherlock 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 200,000 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 200,000 Parts Library
  • Ansys Workbench Integration
  • PCB and PCBA Materials
  • Shock/Vibration/Thermal Cycling Analysis
  • 1-D/3-D Solder Failure Predictions
  • Trace & Via Capture

February 2022

What's New

In 2022 R1, Ansys Sherlock new features include a semi-automated reinforcement workflow, integrations with Ansys AEDT Icepak, and a new GDSII stream/exchange database file format (GDSII/EDB) to import chip- and die-level models.

2022 R1 Structures Product Page Updates
Sherlock Integrations with AEDT Icepak

Sherlock users can now import PCB models into Ansys AEDT Icepak for more accurate thermal analysis simulations. 

2022 R1 Structures Product Page Updates
Semi-Automated Reinforcement Workflow

The new semi-automated reinforcement workflow automates many previously manual tasks, including assignment of reinforcement material, thickness, type, and more.

2022 R1 Structures Product Page Updates
GDSII/EDB File Import

The GDSII/EDB file import capability allows users to import chip- and die-level models directly into Sherlock as part of their preprocessing workflow.

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.



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 200,000 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 powerful parsing engine (capable of importing Gerber, ODB++ and IPC-2581 files, etc.) and embedded libraries (containing over 200,000 parts) automatically builds box-level FEA models with accurate material properties—reducing pre-processing time from days to minutes.

  • 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

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.

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.

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.

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

Webinar on Demand
Sherlock R2 Webinar
Ansys 2021 R2: Ansys Sherlock and Electronics Reliability Update

This webinar spotlights major updates to Ansys Electronics Reliability solutions in 2021 R2. Ansys Electronics Reliability solutions feature comprehensive workflows involving Ansys Sherlock, Ansys Mechanical, Ansys Icepak, Ansys LS-DYNA and more

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.

Ansys software is accessible

It's vital to Ansys that all users, including those with disabilities, can access our products. As such, we endeavor to follow accessibility requirements based on the US Access Board (Section 508), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and the current format of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).

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