EPSI Inc.

We work on the physical design, reliability and failure analysis of electronic components, solder joints and PCB assemblies. We provide expertise in the assessment of both standard SnPb and Pb-free solder joint reliability.

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1 technical article »

Lead-Free and Mixed Assembly Solder Joint Reliability Trends

Oct 31, 2022 | Jean-Paul Clech, Ph.D.

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of solder joint reliability data for lead-free Sn-Ag-Cu (SAC) and mixed assembly (SnPb + SAC) circuit boards based on an extensive, but non-exhaustive, collection of thermal cycling test results. The assembled database covers life test results under multiple test conditions and for a variety of components: conventional SMT (LCCCs, resistors), Ball Grid Arrays, Chip Scale Packages (CSPs), wafer-level CSPs, and flip-chip assemblies with and without underfill. First-order life correlations are developed for SAC assemblies under thermal cycling conditions. The results of this analysis are put in perspective with the correlation of life test results for SnPb control assemblies. Fatigue life correlations show different slopes for SAC versus SnPb assemblies, suggesting opposite reliability trends under low or high stress conditions. The paper also presents an analysis of the effect of Pb contamination and board finish on lead-free solder joint reliability. Last, test data are presented to compare the life of mixed solder assemblies to that of standard SnPb assemblies for a wide variety of area-array components. The trend analysis compares the life of area-array assemblies with: 1) SAC balls and SAC or SnPb paste; 2) SnPb balls assembled with SAC or SnPb paste....

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