Technical Library | 2019-07-10 23:36:14.0
Pockets of gas, or voids, trapped in the solder interface between discrete power management devices and circuit assemblies are, unfortunately, excellent insulators, or barriers to thermal conductivity. This resistance to heat flow reduces the electrical efficiency of these devices, reducing battery life and expected functional life time of electronic assemblies. There is also a corresponding increase in current density (as the area for current conduction is reduced) that generates additional heat, further leading to performance degradation.
Technical Library | 2021-01-03 19:24:52.0
Reflow soldering is the primary method for interconnecting surface mount technology (SMT) applications. Successful implementation of this process depends on whether a low defect rate can be achieved. In general, defects often can be attributed to causes rooted in all three aspects, including materials, processes, and designs. Troubleshooting of reflow soldering requires identification and elimination of root causes. Where correcting these causes may be beyond the reach of manufacturers, further optimizing the other relevant factors becomes the next best option in order to minimize the defect rate.
Technical Library | 2020-02-26 23:24:02.0
Shielding electronic systems against electromagnetic interference (EMI) has become a hot topic. Technological advancements toward 5G standards, wireless charging of mobile electronics, in-package antenna integration, and system-inpackage (SiP) adoption are driving the need to apply more effective EMI shielding and isolation to component packages and larger modules. For conformal shielding, EMI shielding materials for exterior package surfaces have mostly been applied with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process of sputtering, leveraging front-end packaging technologies to back-end packaging applications. However, sputtering technology challenges in scalability and cost along with advancements in dispensable materials are driving considerations for alternative dispensing techniques for EMI shielding.
Technical Library | 2019-01-02 21:51:49.0
Failed solder joints remain a constant source of printed circuit board failure. Soldering is the bonding of metallic surfaces via an intermetallic compound (IMC). The interaction between thermal energy delivery, flux chemistry, and solder chemistry creates the solder bond or joint. Today, reliability relies on visual inspection; operator experience and skill, control of influencers e.g. tip geometry, tip temperature, and collection and analysis of process data. Each factor involved with the formation of the solder joint is an element of risk and can affect either throughput or repeatability. Mitigating this risk in hand soldering requires the identification of these factors and a means to address them.
Technical Library | 2019-06-07 14:49:54.0
ACI Technologies was contacted in regards to poor solder joint reliability. The customer submitted an assembly that was exhibiting intermittent opens at multiple locations on a ball grid array (BGA) component. The assembly’s functionality did not survive international shipping, essentially shock and vibration failures, immediately making the quality of the solder joints suspect. The customer was asked about the contract manufacturer and the reflow oven profile as well as the solder paste and surface finish used. The ACI engineering staff evaluated the contract manufacturer’s technique and determined that they were competent in the methods they used for placing thermocouples in the proper locations and developing the reflow oven profile. The surface finish was unusual, but not unheard of, in that it was hard gold over hard nickel, rather than electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG). The customer was able to supply boundary scan testing data which showed a diagonal row of troublesome BGA pins.
Technical Library | 2019-08-01 10:58:32.0
Optical fibers transmit information in the form of pulses of light. The advantages of optical fibers over traditional copper wires include: higher throughput, greater signal distance and speed, smaller cable mass and diameter, greater pull tension limit, and resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference(RFI). The disadvantages of fiber optics when compared to copper wires include: end-face defects, cleanliness, and the ease of attaching connectors to electronics assemblies (Figure 1).
Technical Library | 2019-06-11 09:36:13.0
An experiment was recently performed ACI Technologies for a customer that was interested in comparing the wetting of lead-free solders with varying temperature profiles and atmospheric conditions. In order to deliver an objective measurement of solder wetting (in addition to subjective inspection analysis), a simple wetting indicator pattern was added to the solder stencil in an area on the test vehicle that had exposed and unused copper.
Technical Library | 2019-06-12 10:33:58.0
The success of ball grid array (BGA) placement on electronic assemblies is as much a matter of proper preparation and planning, as it is technique. In some designs, it is more appropriate to apply BGAs using a rework station that isolates the placement of the device, without subjecting the entire assembly to thermal reflow. This is especially beneficial in board constructions where the number of BGAs is limited, and the application of the solder paste is difficult, due to small pitch features that stretch the limitation of the stencil construction. Another application for rework stations, involves very large and thermally conductive BGAs, which will not uniformly reflow with other components on the assembly, and may require special process parameters for their proper placement. The most common use of BGA rework stations are for assemblies requiring BGA removal and replacements due to failures in the initial assembly stage.
Technical Library | 2020-11-04 17:57:41.0
Residues present on circuit boards can cause leakage currents if not controlled and monitored. How "Clean is Clean" is neither easy nor cheap to determine. Most OEMs use analytical methods to assess the risk of harmful residues. The levels that can be associated with clean or dirty are typically determined based on the exposed environment where the part will be deployed. What is acceptably clean for one segment of the industry may be unacceptable for more demanding segments. As circuit assemblies increase in density, understanding cleanliness data becomes more challenging. The risk of premature failure or improper function is typically site specific. The problem is that most do not know how to measure or define cleanliness nor can they recognize process problems related to residues. A new site specific method has been designed to run performance qualifications on boards built with specific soldering materials, reflow settings and cleaning methods. High impedance measurements are performed on break off coupons designed with components geometries used to build the assembly. The test method provides a gauge of potential contamination sources coming from the assembly process that can contribute to electrochemical migration.
Technical Library | 2019-05-30 11:04:03.0
There exists a need to efficiently remove heat from power electronics within power systems to enhance performance. Thermal management is a critical function to that operation. Reducing the junction temperature of semiconductor power electronic devices enables them to operate at higher currents. Lowering operating temperatures reduces the thermal stress on electronic devices, which improves efficiency and reduces failures. To improve the heat removal process, the current heat transfer design of a power system has been analyzed and a variety of thermal interface materials (TIMs) and cold plate technologies have been evaluated. This paper will review some of these results.