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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
  • Closed-loop Reliability Workflow with Ansys Mechanical, LS-DYNA & Icepak
    Closed-loop Reliability Workflow with Ansys Mechanical, LS-DYNA & Icepak
  • Rapid ECAD to FEA and CFD Translations
    Rapid ECAD to FEA and CFD Translations
  • Complete Product Lifetime Curve
    Complete Product Lifetime Curve

Quick Specs

With embedded libraries containing over 600,000+ 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 and material properties and translates stress information into validated time-to-failure predictions. Sherlock parts databases also include a link to Ansys Granta Materials Selector.

  • Drop Test Simulation
  • Locked IP Model
  • Default Package Geometries
  • Thermal Analysis Prep
  • Over 600,000+ Parts Library
  • Ansys Workbench Integration
  • PCB and PCBA Materials
  • Shock/Vibration/Thermal Cycling Analysis
  • 1-D/3-D Solder Failure Predictions
  • Trace & Via Capture

July 2023

What's New

In 2023 R2, Ansys Sherlock's new features allow users to perform faster and more accurate simulations, including building higher-fidelity models, performing localized studies on regions of interest, and new APIs allowing analyses to run in batches.

Ansys Sherlock 2023 R2

A new workflow within Workbench-Mechanical interface allows users to create a sub-model of a desired local region on a PCB using the Sherlock pre-plug-in. Perform a detailed analysis of a specific board area or component of interest.

Ansys Sherlock 2023 R2
Strain Map Import

Users can now import strain image maps and strain CSV files gathered from their simulation results, field data, or test data and apply them in their random vibration reliability studies in Sherlock.

Ansys Sherlock 2023 R2
New APIs

New APIs allow users to programmatically define natural frequency and random vibration properties in their scripts, thus facilitating additional control for analyses run in batch. APIs also automate sensitivity and other studies.

Sanden Reduces Model Creation Time by 85% Using Ansys Sherlock


Sherlock Workbench

"For each new compressor generation, we need to redesign a PCB. So, we start from zero, but we re-use our experience. Sherlock allows us to arrive at a robust design faster, with less trial-and-error iteration."  - The Sanden Group

The Sanden Group is a Tier 1 automotive supplier of air conditioning compressors based in Japan and has locations worldwide. In 2020, Sanden Manufacturing Europe decided to test Ansys Sherlock automated design analysis software to analyze printed circuit boards (PCBs) for its electrical compressors. Using Ansys Sherlock, Sanden cut model creation time from 7 days to 1. 



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, and reliability engineers 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, and CAF to adjust designs in near real-time and achieve qualification in one round. In post-processing simulation results from Icepak and Mechanical, and LS-DYNA, Sherlock can predict test success and estimate warranty return rates. Icepak, Mechanical, and LS-DYNA users are 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, and reliability predictions. This early insight immediately identifies areas of concern and allows you to adjust and retest designs quickly.

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

Pre- and Post-Processor for Ansys Mechanical, Icepak & LS-DYNA

Sherlock’s over 600,000+ parts materials library enables the creation of accurate and complex FEA and CFD models. These models can be imported directly into Mechanical, Icepak & LS-DYNA for improved model fidelity and analysis exported back into Sherlock for time-to-failure predictions.

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 600,000 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

On Demand Webinar
PCB Simulation
Reliability Prediction for PCBs and Electronic Systems Using Ansys Software

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the backbone of almost all electronic devices--making PCB reliability critical for the electronics industry. In this webinar, we'll discuss how engineers can use Ansys Sherlock to predict PCB reliability, including solder fatigue, temperature cycling, random and harmonic vibration and more. 

On Demand Webinar
Sherlock Thermal Analysis
Introduction to Ansys Sherlock

In this short video, you will learn the basics of Ansys Sherlock, our printed circuit board (PCB) reliability prediction tool. Ansys Sherlock software is meant to be used early in the design stage to analyze for possible failure risk before prototype. This short video includes Sherlock capabilities, use cases and a live demo.


White Papers and Brochures


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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