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Electronics Production | May 08, 2007

Call for Unique Part No to differentiate<br>Ball Metallurgies on Pb-Free BGAs

iNEMI has announced that a majority of its OEM and EMS members strongly support unique part numbers for BGA components to differentiate any Pb-free ball metallurgies other than SAC 305 or SAC 405, including low silver, added dopants such as nickel, and other SAC (or non-SAC) alloy compositions.
iNEMI members supporting this position include: 3M, Agilent Technologies Inc., Alcatel-Lucent, Analogic, Celestica Inc., Delphi Electronics & Safety, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Intel Corporation, Jabil Circuit Inc., Microsoft Corp., Micro Systems Engineering Inc., Plexus Corp., Sanmina-SCI Corporation, Solectron Corporation and Tyco Electronics Corporation.

Many suppliers are moving away from SAC 305/405 ball metallurgies in order to improve the ability to survive mechanical shock (e.g. drop test of portable products). Changes include reductions in silver down to as low as 0.3% and addition of other metals, such as nickel. Concerns about these changes in metallurgies prompted iNEMI to release the following statement:

While variations in alloy metallurgy may improve mechanical shock performance, they can also impact the manufacturing process in a number of ways. Since these changes can affect form, fit and function of the device, they should be documented by the issuance of a part change notice (PCN) and should be associated with a change in manufacturing part number (MPN). In this way, the manufacturing assembly process can be properly controlled and optimized prior to actual assembly to ensure repeatable and reliable attachment of the BGA to the next higher assembly and to help minimize ship holds due to unknown parts. While JEDEC identifies BGA solder ball material composition as an example of a major change (see JESD46C), we recognize that some further guidelines may need to be developed around triggering the PCN and/or change to MPN.

In 2004, iNEMI called for the use of unique part numbers for RoHS-compliant components, as defined by JEDEC/IPC standards. The consortium is also calling for continued availability of SnPb BGAs for use in high-reliability products, which are currently exempt from, or out of scope of, the EU RoHS Directive. Manufacturers of these high-reliability products will continue to use SnPb processes until long-life reliability concerns regarding Pb-free are resolved, and Pb-free BGAs are not compatible with these processes.

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