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DIY - Soldering BGA IC on PCB

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DIY Soldering BGA IC

This is a DIY project - Soldering BGA IC on PCB

More and more devices are shipped in small factor form packages like QFP and BGA. Some designers still prefer the traditional DIP/SO package. It is obviously that the DIP ICs will be hardly available in future designs. Not only the microcontrollers and microprocessors, but supplementary ICs as well employ BGA package for smaller size and better heat dissipation. Even on the amateur electronics design, more and more components come from second hand devices such as mobile phones and portable equipments. We can not ignore the industry trend anyhow.

I used to ask for help to one partner of mine who have the expensive production facilities to solder BGA ICs. However I have to align with his production schedule and it takes time and increases the budget. I have to find my own way. Is it possible to solder it by myself? Yes, but with some limitation.

Soldering Deployment

In order to mount BGA IC on the PCB manually, we must prepare a table-vice, two hot air heaters, optional infra-red thermometer and camera. The table-vice is used for holding the PCB, the hot air heaters are used as the soldering irons for both sides. The infra-read thermometer and camera are used for temperature monitoring and visual inspection.

BGA First, hold the blank PCB firmly with the table-vice. Then adjust the camera to have the horizontal side view of BGA balls. Someone may raise questions about how to align the BGA chip on the BGA pads. Do not worry, if you align it with silkscreen layer correctly, the BGA balls will be self-aligned with BGA pads during the heating and soldering process. You can see it via the camera later.

Now point both hot air heaters to top and bottom sides of the PCB. Set the temperature of heaters to 300 degree Celsius and turn them on. Here the temperature setup depends on your experiences of different type, size, and IC temperature limitation.

Solder Ball Side View

Now, please point infrared thermometer to the BGA chip, and monitor the camera to check if the solder balls are melting down or not. You can not overheat the BGA chip, while make sure all solder balls are perfectly melting and soldering to the PCB pads.

If possible, please, spread the soldering flux on the pads or process your PCB with solder leveling method before mounting BGA on it.

The limitation is the number of BGA solder balls and size of the package. This manual soldering approach is not suitable for big BGA package. The bigger is the BGA package the higher are the failure possibilities.

I know some guys can remove the BGA chip from PCB, remove the remaining balls, add new balls to the chip and mount it on another board. However it is enough for me so far, unless I have only one sample IC during development. Removing BGA from a complete PCB will possibly damage other parts on board. So I only suggest you manually mount BGA on a new blank board before any other components get mounted.

Read More

A blog about BGA processing (in Chinese)

Read the Italian version: BGA (Ball Grid Array) - La saldatura dei circuiti integrati BGA (BGA soldering)

Fascinating. We are making

Fascinating. We are making the world larger by making things smaller.

PCB Book

Tons of informations about PCB

Two datasheet in pdf about BGA soldering

BGA Application Note

PCB Layout Recommendations for BGA Packages (Lattice)
PDF http://www.latticesemi.com/lit/docs/package/tn1074.pdf

PCB Design Guidelines for 0.4mm Package BGA (Texas Instruments)
PDF http://focus.ti.com.cn/cn/lit/an/spraav1/spraav1.pdf

Datasheet Texas Instruments TI

Just in case you need Datasheet from TI

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