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 significantly innovates electronic design by empowering designers to simulate real-world conditions and accurately model printed circuit boards (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 provides fast and accurate reliability predictions in the earliest design stages and is tailored to specific materials, components, dies, PCB/ball grid array (BGA) stackups and specific use conditions.

With libraries containing over 500,000 parts, Sherlock reduces finite element analysis (FEA) modeling time and provides insights before prototyping. This helps eliminate test failures and design flaws, accelerate product qualification and introduce groundbreaking technologies.

Ansys Sherlock Libraries

During pre-processing, Sherlock automatically translates electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) and mechanical computer-aided engineering (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 — enabling analysis to be completed in minutes rather than weeks.

Sherlock seamlessly integrates with already existing simulation workflows in the hardware design process and is most valuable when implemented in the early design stages.

Ansys Sherlock Design Process

Sherlock makes Ansys SIwave, Ansys Icepak and Ansys Mechanical users more efficient by directly connecting 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 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.

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

Data Input

With its extensive parts/materials libraries, Sherlock automatically identifies your files and imports your parts list, then builds a FEA 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 to developing 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 wearout
  • Thermal derating
  • Conductive anodic filament (CAF) qualification
  • High-fidelity PCB modeling


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.