What's New With Sherlock 6.2?

Posted by Natalie Hernandez on Apr 4, 2019 12:51:14 PM

Working closely with our clients, we receive constant feedback about current challenges facing our industry. This allows us to tailor Sherlock updates to address rapidly developing landscapes as we continuously strive to improve Sherlock to make reliability predictions more accurate and more appropriate to Sherlock users’ needs.

As part of our mission to make Sherlock the most dependable and extensive reliability analysis tool available, we are rolling out an update to our flagship software. The two newest features in Sherlock addresses two key challenges: modeling non-standard BGA layouts and predicting the fatigue life of assemblies utilizing Insulated Metal Substrates (IMS).

Non-standard BGA Layout

To accurately capture vibration, thermo and mechanical changes, accurate geometry modeling is essential. Previously, standard layouts featuring BGA had issues with the corner balls, as they failed often. Engineers looking for solutions started placing these balls in different locations on the board, forgoing cookie-cutter assemblies in order to create more reliable products. Non-standard BGAs are becoming increasingly popular as they have been proven to be more robust in extreme environments. Non-standard layouts alleviate the issue of fast-failing corner balls, but the downside is that they make it more difficult to model and simulate these non-standard BGAs.

In order to compensate for this newly arisen challenge, the new feature in Sherlock 6.2 allows for accurate modeling of non-standard BGA layouts and will be essential in most flip-chip applications. Specifically, Sherlock’s increased capabilities focus on predicting how soldering underfill affects the components of a PCB. Underfilling methods, applications and materials have grown more diverse in recent years, and with more widespread utilization, it is key to understand how underfill impacts the life expectancy of a design.

This feature will allow a full board analysis as opposed to the one-component-at-a-time analysis in other FEA Tools.

Insulated Metal Substrates (IMS)

The utilization of Insulated Metal Substrates has grown across the industry because of its ability to induce heat dissipation for components on printed circuit board assemblies. IMS are more thermally conductive yet electrically insulating, which makes them a preferred choice in applications such as LEDs (Light Emitting Diode). Metal choices used in LED designs are crucial in reliability predictions.

Previously, the extent to which Sherlock Automated Design Analysis incorporated IMS was limited to modeling. In the newest Sherlock update, the software now has increased compatibility with assemblies utilizing IMS. Sherlock is capable of predicting the fatigue life of assemblies involving power electronics and other devices that experience increased heat dissipation.

These new features will make Sherlock more user friendly as well as broaden its range of application, further developing the most efficient reliability analysis tool in the market.

If you believe your business needs might be a match with Sherlock's offerings, contact us today for a free trial of Sherlock.

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Topics: DfR Solutions, Sherlock Automated Design Analysis, reliability testing, Reliability Physics

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