What is BGA Reballing? Why does Ball Grid Array require Reballing?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 13, 2022
BGA Reballing

What is BGA Reballing?

BGA Reballing refers to changing every soldered ball on a grid array circuit. Essentially, a ball grid array circuit is established to make an accurate connection between the PCB & the chip. Very often, it will involve extracting old solder balls and replacing them with new ones.

To offer an example, Video Graphic Chips or VGCs as they are popularly known as, are particularly prone to solder joint breakage and need reballing. Every so often, you would have encountered a situation where your computer screen goes blank. This is often a result of poor solder joints and needs BGA reballing.

Why is BGA reballing needed?

There are several reasons that necessitate BGA reballing. Let us look at them in detail:

  • Overuse – The overuse of a graphics chip can often lead to reballing. With time, the solder joints between the PCB and the chip become loose and this could lead to issues that could progressively worsen.
  • Faulty Chips – When BGA chips become faulty, there is the need to replace them. Also, sometimes a PCB motherboard may require a chip upgrade to deal with new software.
  • Overheating – Overheating can also lead to the need for the BGA chip to be reballed. On account of the heat the ball loosens and can even be dislocated. Overheating can also result in the formation of a solder bridge that can prove to be fatal to your PCB equipment.

BGA Reballing Process

In order to effectively undertake the reballing process and for it to succeed, you need adequate experience and expertise and the right tools. Let us look at some of the tools that are needed for reballing:

Soldering Iron

A soldering iron is a hand-based tool that sends heat to the solder metal. Its melting can optimize flow into the broken joints between the component and the BGA PCB assembly. It is important for the soldering iron to have a heated metal tip as well as a well-insulated handle.

Desoldering Wire

A desoldering wire is required to solder wick or to desolder it. It is beneficial to remove the solder from the joint by soaking the metal solder in it. It is usually braided with 18 to 42 AWG copper wire that is insulated with leading-edge rosin flux.

Chip Stencil

A chip stencil is essentially a metal sheet with holes that allows solder balls to be fitted. Made of high-quality steel, you can heat it with the BGA machine or a hot air gun. It ensures that the ball soldering process is quick and hassle free.

Solder Balls

As the name suggests, these are small balls of solder strewn on the SMT board surface. Essentially, they offer a point of contact between the multichip modules and the stacked packages, as also between the PCB and chip package.

BGA Reworking Machine

It generates copious amounts of heat and is required to finalize the BGA reballing process. It also comes in handy to remove or attach BGA chips.

Steps in the BGA Reballing Process

The essential steps in BGA Reballing include:

  • Preparing the BGAs. This involves removing existing components and ensuring the surface is clean.
  • Securing the units.
  • Introducing the stencil to match the space and sizing of your BGA.
  • Securing the stencil by screwing a ring on top.
  • Shaking in solder balls.
  • Reflow soldering with a reflow oven that offers temperature control.
  • Post process inspection to see that the balls are secure and in proper place.

Choosing the right services for BGA reballing

It is imperative to choose the right PCB services when it comes to BGA component reballing as there is almost no margin for any error. You need to work with a company that has the right experience and expertise to offer accurate, high-quality work. You need to look for high yield, cost-effective BGA reballing services. The right company will be able to offer you the ability to reball BGA devices of every size, pitch and package style. From low volume to high volume BGA re-balling, the partner should be able to meet all your requirements.

The other aspect to look for is the ability of the company to offer robust customer support and to handhold you through state-of-the-art solutions.

Technotronix offers professional PCB assembly services with 40 years of expertise. Our accurate PCB assembly process meets the quality standards, including ISO-9001:2015, RoHS, and more. Our superior engineering capabilities mean that each board matches your exact requirements and technical specifications. If you have any questions or any requirements related to PCB assembly service, please feel free to contact us via email at sales@technotronix.us or call 714/630-9200.

What is the importance of PCB trace width in PCB design?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 27, 2022
PCB Trace Width

Before we understand the importance of trace widths in PCB board design, let us start with the basics and understand what exactly is a trace width.

Essentially a PCB trace connects electrical signals from one junction to another. The junction can be the pin of a component, an empty pad or test-point. A trace width is measured in mils or thousandth of an inch. Typically, a standard trace width is between 7-12 mil and could be a few inches long.

For boards where there is a specific design requirement such as noise mitigation, speed optimization and more, trace widths and types assume a significant advantage.

PCB fabrication costs are driven up with the following trace-related specifications:

  • Trace widths narrower than 5 mils.
  • Trace spacing closer than 5 mils.
  • Via holes with a diameter smaller than 8 mils.
  • Trace thickness thinner or thicker than 1 ounce.
  • Differential pairs and controlled lengths or trace impedance.

High-density PCB designs might require trace widths as thin as 2.5 mil. On the other hand, some high-power designs might require very large traces. Designs that call for high-speed communication from one peripheral to another might need traces with controlled impedance. Similarly, high voltage applications need a minimum distance between two exposed differential signals.

Role played by PCB trace widths in layout

Trace widths impact the electrical performance of the printed circuit board, both in terms of:

  • Signal Integrity
  • Power Integrity

Signal integrity

Using different trace widths can go a long way in improving signal integrity and to keep signal interference, crosstalk, electromagnetic interference etc under control.

Controlled impedance routing

When it comes to certain high-speed signals, they need to be routed at specific widths so that there is impedance control. The trace widths must be correctly figured out based on:

  • Dielectric material of the board.
  • Spacing to other signals.
  • Copper weight.

Microstrip and stripline

In case of sensitive high-speed transmission lines you need to couple them with a reference ground plane so that the traces are shielded. A stripline configuration refers to an internal routing layer that is sandwiched between two ground planes. A microstrip configuration on the other hand refers to traces on the board’s exterior with adjacent plane beneath it.

Analog routing

When it comes to analog signals, they need to be short and direct while having extra width to keep trace impedance low. With analog circuitry, it is also better to minimize the use of vias.

Power integrity

To ensure power integrity it is important to look at the following aspects:

Short and direct routing

It is important to keep the traces short to avoid additional noise. Rounded corners as opposed to right angles are also preferred.

Use wide traces

To reduce inductance and crosstalk it is prudent to use wide traces with power routing.

Current and thermal consideration

Power traces conduct various current levels depending on which net is being routed. Also, it is important to consider the amount of heat the lines generate with the current. The power tracing on the external layers can also benefit from air-cooling.

Using Optimum PCB Trace Width

Several PCB CAD tools can today control multiple trace widths. PCB layout engineers can set up a trace width value. Individual nets, however, can be controlled by specifying the width and the spacing for each. With CAD tools there is also the ability to set up classes of nets. Certain CAD systems also offer the ability to set up different rules for specific areas. When you are routing through dense areas this can be extremely helpful.

Essentially while there are several different ways in which you can set up your PCB CAD system for trace routing, what you need is strong electronics contract manufacturer. You need to ensure that your CM has a strong engineering team, which has the requisite knowledge and experience to be able to set up the PCB CAD systems and design a successful circuit board. The CM should not just understand the nuances of trace widths but also the right usage of tools to ensure that The PCB lives up to the highest standards of quality.

We have over 4 decades of experience in providing innovative high-speed PCB design & manufacturing services. We take an extra step to reach out to your exact PCB manufacturing requirements, high-quality standards, and a strong customer support service to provide quick turnarounds and on-time delivery to our customers. Submit your any custom printed circuit board design service requirements via PCB design quote form along with BOM (Bill of Material) & Gerber files and we will get back to you soon. You can contact us via email at sales@technotronix.us or call us on 714/630-9200.

The bill of materials in PCB design: The best practices for long-term production!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: December 13, 2022
Bill of Materials PCB

Designing a new circuit board needs meticulous planning for sure. When you are designing for long term production you need to have specific and detailed strategies in place so that you can avoid any component shortages. Here are some specific supply chain problems that have been staring at the industry particularly in today’s times:

Short supply

With the global pandemic, component short supplies have been a reality. With inventories at OEMs dropping, designers are forced to look for alternative parts. The supply chain shortage is also impacted by the global shipping problems. Vendors are unable to reach supplies to customers on account of inaccessibility to the regular shipping channels.

Counterfeit parts

A number of counterfeit parts have also flooded the market. There have been instances of substituting false part numbers whereby general parts are repurposed. There are also instances of old parts being sold as new. It is imperative, therefore, for OEMs to be able to recognize old, counterfeit parts.

In such a scenario Bill of Material (BOM) planning strategies are absolutely important. Let us look at some of the PCB Design BOM planning strategies in detail

PCB design BOM planning strategies:

Check for part availability as well as prices

Before committing to use any parts you certainly need to find out if they are available and their price. It is a possibility that they may have become too expensive. You also need to validate the sources so that you are sure that you do not land up with counterfeit components.

Check for alternative options

In case the parts that you are looking for are unavailable, here are some of the alternatives to consider:

  • Alternative Parts – You need to look for parts that can offer similar functionality. It may be a good idea to also look for combinations of parts that can offer similar functionality. This of course could have a cost implication. However, it will keep your project on track.
  • Redesign – In some cases in order to tackle the issue of the unavailable part, you may need to redesign the circuitry. You also need to look at alternatives where you design the primary component and its alternatives into the board.
  • Forward planning- Above everything, you need to make sure that you time yourself well. Waiting till the end of the design cycle and then beginning to look for parts that you need and finding them to be unavailable, is a sure fire way to disaster. You need to start planning early in a way that you can map the completion of your design schedule with availability of components. There are electronic component specialists that can help with BOM planning.

Having discussed BOM planning strategies, let us also look at some BOM planning resources that can come in handy

BOM Planning Resources

One resource that will stand you in good stead, is of course your contract manufacturer. Ensure that your electronics contract manufacturer has a dedicated engineering as well as procurement team that ensure that you do not fall short by way of unavailability of components. The contract manufacturer will undertake a detailed review of the BOM. They will ensure that the parts mentioned in the BOM work well and are available for use. A strong procurement team will then ensure that the lead times and prices are optimal.

This is not the only way the contract manufacturer can come to your aid. Importantly, a professional contract manufacturer will also review your PCB board design to see that there aren’t any issues that can later affect the manufacturing process. Timely detection of these issues will help prevent costly mistakes. They will also suggest alternate designs that will aid in manufacturability. With their experience and access to industry best practices, you need not reinvent the wheel.

Importantly, if you as a customer work with the contract manufacturer on long-term builds of circuit boards, they will monitor availability of components on a continuous basis. At any time if any part becomes obsolete, the team will have its recommendations ready proactively. This will ensure that your production isn’t impacted and that time to market, which is a big source of competitive advantage in today’s milieu, isn’t impacted.

Technotronix is one of the leading PCB manufacturers based in the USA. We have over 4 decades of experience in providing innovative PCB manufacturing services using modern technologies and the latest machinery. For any kind of PCB manufacturing services, Get a quick quote!

What is a Heat Sink Printed Circuit Board and its importance in the electrical industry?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 13, 2022
Heat Sink PCB

Heat sink technology is of tremendous importance as it allows heat to dissipate and to spread through a circuit. A heat sink PCB is therefore a type of printed circuit board that helps in dissipating high surface temperatures. In fact, heat sink PCBs offer one of the best forms of thermal management. They are ideal for use in applications that generate heat. Most electronics that use heat sink PCBs, therefore, have a longer lifespan.

Why are Heat Sink PCBs important in electronic circuits?

High power devices are known to produce heat. They however have low heat dissipation capability. Some of these devices include:

  • Power transistors
  • LEDs
  • Lasers, and more.

Heat build-up can cause premature failure in the device. Heat sink board, therefore, are the perfect answer.

Benefits of Heat Sink PCBs:

Passive Heat Exchange

Heat sink PCBs can act as passive heat exchangers. With heat dissipated, it leads to improved performance of the device and prevention of device failure.

Maintains Thermal Stability

What heat sinks in PCBs help to do, therefore, is to maintain the thermal stability of the device. In high-performance applications, therefore, their importance cannot be overstated. Additionally, other than heat dissipation they also provide heat during low temperatures. The generation of thermal energy, in turn, allows for the smooth functioning of the circuit.

Spreads heat

In some applications, heat sinks help to spread heat. For example, in case of graphic processors and CPUs of computers, they come in extremely handy to spread heat.

Prevents system failure

In the absence of a heat sink, there is high risk of failure of components. Typically, in mission critical operations, this can be a huge problem.

Types of Heat Sink:

The various types of heat sink are as below:

Active heat sink

Such heat sinks are powered by water pumps and fans, for example, which increase the rate of heat transfer. In some systems these coolers run off the internal power supply. The moving parts of this heat sink do not make it ideal for long-term applications of PCB industrial solutions.

Passive heat sink

Unlike an active heat sink, a passive heat sink does not feature any additional products or processes. In such cases the heat dissipation takes place through the process of convection. Such heat sinks are bigger than active heat sinks.

Types of heat sink based on material:

Aluminum heat sink

Aluminum heat sinks are a popular choice on account of the thermal conductivity of aluminum. In such heat sinks, the heat escapes through thin metal fins. Additionally, the fact, that they aren’t too expensive, adds to their popularity.

Copper heat sink

Copper is known to be a good thermal conductor and has great heat transfer capabilities. However, heat sink PCBs made of copper are more expensive.

Finned heat sink

This type of heat sink is designed in a manner that a large number of thin plates extend outwards from the central block. They offer a high surface area and hence effectively transfer heat away from the components. Typically, such heat sinks use either die-cast or forged models.

Pinned heat sink

This type of heat sink features rods or pins that extend outwards or upwards. While they work well in terms of the overall surface that they offer, they aren’t particularly known for their superior performance.

Heat sink types based on manufacturing techniques

Based on the PCB manufacturing process or techniques, heat sinks can be classified as under:

Stamped heat sink

This heat sink uses stamped metals. Such metals can form a certain shape. Such heat sinks work well for low-power applications.

Bonded heat sink

This kind of heat sink works well for large applications. They are formed by combining separate fins to the base of the heat sink, by either brazing or thermal epoxy.

Skived heat sink

These use fine blocks of metal for manufacturing heat sinks.

Swaged heat sink

These use a cold working forging process for its manufacturing.

Forged heat sink

Such heat sinks make use of compressive forces. This is particularly used in aluminum and copper heat sinks.

Machining heat sink

The machining process is used for manufacturing such heat sinks. However, since it leads to considerable metal wastage, this method is expensive.

To sum up, the characteristics of a good PCB heat sink include:

  • It should have a large surface area.
  • The heat dissipation needs to correlate with the temperature difference between the device and the ambient temperature.
  • Its flat surface should be in contact with the heat source.
  • Its design should allow for free flow of air through the fins.

We are one of the leading PCB manufacturers in the USA. we are fully equipped to handle your PCB manufacturing requirements. We take an extra step to reach out to your exact PCB manufacturing requirements, high-quality standards, and a strong customer support service to provide quick turnarounds and on-time delivery to our customers.

In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at sales@technotronix.us or call us on 714/630-9200.