PHILIPS AN10365

AN10365
Surface mount reflow soldering
Rev. 6 — 30 July 2012
Application note
Document information
Info
Content
Keywords
surface mount, reflow soldering, component handling
Abstract
This application note provides guidelines for the board mounting and
handling of NXP semiconductor packages.
AN10365
NXP Semiconductors
Surface mount reflow soldering description
Revision history
Rev
Date
Description
06
20120730
amendments to Section 2.4
05
20110906
added Section 2.4
04
20090813
text amendments to Section 2.1, 2.3, 4.3, 5.1; Section 6 “Component handling” added; items
added to Section 8 “References”; Export control disclaimer added to Section 9.2
“Disclaimers”.
03
20080422
various text amendments to Section 1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 6.
02
20060726
updates in Table 1, Table 8 and on page 20: the minimum peak reflow temperature when
using SnPb solder is changed from 210 C to 215 C.
01
20050524
initial version.
Contact information
For more information, please visit: http://www.nxp.com
For sales office addresses, please send an email to: [email protected]
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
1. Introduction
This application note provides guidelines for board mounting of surface mount
semiconductor packages. Nowadays, reflow soldering is a widely spread technology for
soldering of surface mount semiconductor packages. For some of the newer
semiconductor packages, such as a Ball Grid Array (BGA), reflow soldering is the only
suitable method.
This application note describes the materials for reflow soldering: the Printed-Circuit
Board (PCB), semiconductor packages and solder paste. One of the key features of the
PCB is the footprint design. The footprint design describes the recommended solder land
on the PCB to make a reliable solder joint between the semiconductor package and the
PCB. A proven solder material is SnPb, but due to legislation, the industry has changed,
to a large extent, to Pb-free solutions such as Sn/Ag/Cu (SAC). Process requirements for
solder paste printing and reflow soldering, for SnPb and Pb-free, are also discussed in this
application note. This document concludes with sections on inspection and repair and
component handling.
2. Materials
2.1 Printed-circuit boards and footprints
Printed-Circuit Boards (PCBs) are not only used as mechanical carriers for electronic
components; they also provide the electronic interconnection between these components
and also between these components and the outside world. These electronic components
may be semiconductors, or other types such as capacitors and resistors. Through
component selection and the use of Cu interconnections between the components, an
electronic system, such as a mobile phone, can be assembled on a PCB. The substrates
used for mounting the packages can be made of a variety of materials with different
properties such as FR4, FR5, BT, flexible polymers (polyimides or polyamid) etc.
Due to the increased transistor density in the latest semiconductor technologies, and
higher current (power) handling requirements, generation of heat has become a major
limitation of semiconductor performance. By applying an exposed pad or heat sink in the
semiconductor package, in combination with thermal vias in the PCB, the heat can be
transferred from the active die to the outside world. Four examples of vias capped in
different ways, are shown in Figure 1. Note that the only difference lies in the solder resist
pattern.
001aac754
Fig 1.
AN10365
Application note
Capped vias; from left to right: via tenting from top, via tenting from bottom, via
capping from bottom, via encroached from bottom
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
Common board finishes include NiAu, Organic Solderability Preservative (OSP), and
immersion Sn. Although finishes may look different after reflow, and some appear to have
better wetting characteristics than others, all common finishes can be used, provided that
they are in accordance with the specifications.
Examples of other issues in board quality are tolerances on the pad and solder resist
dimensions and component placement, maximum board dimensions, and flatness.
The application board is usually a mix of large and small components together with
thermal design features. In board designs where large components or thermal design
features are in close proximity to small components, solderability issues may arise.
A footprint design describes the recommended dimensions of the solder lands on the
PCB, to make reliable solder joints between the semiconductor package and the PCB.
The package outline and PCB footprints of NXP semiconductor packages can be found by
clicking “Packages” in the “Looking for products” panel on the product information page of
the NXP Semiconductors web site at the URL given in “Contact information” at the bottom
of page 2. The unique identifier for the PCB footprint is the NXP package outline code (the
package SOT or SOD number).
For general guidelines on board design, see IPC-7351: Generic requirements for surface
mount devices and land pattern standard.
The next paragraph explains how to read the PCB footprint. Figure 2 shows an example
of a PCB footprint, as found on the NXP Semiconductors web site.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
Footprint information for reflow soldering of SSOP20 package
SOT266-1
Hx
Gx
P2
(0.125)
Hy
Gy
(0.125)
By
Ay
C
D2 (4x)
D1
P1
Generic footprint pattern
Refer to the package outline drawing for actual layout
solder land
occupied area
DIMENSIONS in mm
P1
P2
Ay
By
C
D1
D2
Gx
Gy
Hx
Hy
0.650
0.750
7.200
4.500
1.350
0.400
0.600
6.900
5.300
7.300
7.450
001aaf255
Fig 2.
PCB footprint for the SOT266-1 package (SSOP20)
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
All footprints within a package family (in this example all SSOP packages) use the same
generic footprint drawing, regardless of the actual number of package terminals. In this
example, it is not accidental that the generic footprint drawing shows 18 terminals,
whereas the SSOP20 package has 20 terminals. The table on the PCB footprint, below
the drawing, shows the actual dimensions for the specific package outline (with 20
terminals), while the generic drawing is used to illustrate the dimensions. The real
package outline (with the correct number of terminals) can be found by clicking
“Packages” in the “Looking for products” panel on the product information page of the
NXP Semiconductors web site at the URL given in “Contact information” at the bottom of
page 2.
The soldering process is carried out under a set of process parameters that includes
accuracies in the process, and semiconductor package, board, and stencil tolerances.
The footprint design is directly related to these aspects of the soldering process; the
calculation of these dimensions is based on process parameters that are compliant with
modern machines and a state-of-the-art process.
A solder resist layer (also known as a solder mask layer) is usually applied to the board, to
isolate the solder lands and tracks. If this solder resist extends onto the Cu, the remaining
area to be soldered is solder resist defined. This is sometimes referred to as Solder Mask
Defined (SMD). Figure 3 shows solder resist defined pads; yellow is Cu and dark green is
solder resist. The Cu underneath the solder resist is shown in a lighter shade of green.
001aac831
Fig 3.
Solder resist defined solder lands
The alternative situation is that the solder resist layer starts outside of the Cu. In that case,
the solder lands are Cu defined. This is sometimes referred to as Non Solder Mask
Defined (NSMD). A Cu defined layout is shown in Figure 4 (white is the bare board).
001aac832
Fig 4.
Cu defined solder lands
A layout can also be partially solder resist defined and partially Cu defined.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
Note that a solder resist defined layout requires the application of a solder resist bridge
between two terminals. There is a minimum width of solder resist that can be applied by
board suppliers. This fact, in combination with a maximum solder resist placement
accuracy, implies that solder resist defined layouts are not always possible. For
semiconductor packages with a small pitch it is not possible to apply a solder resist bridge
between two terminals, and a Cu defined or combination layout must be used.
If a solder land is solder resist defined, the Cu must extend far enough underneath the
solder resist to allow for tolerances in Cu etching and solder resist placement during board
production. Similarly, if a solder land is Cu defined, the solder resist must lie sufficiently far
away from the solder land to prevent bleeding of the solder resist onto the Cu pad. Typical
values for these distances are 50 m to 75 m.
The footprints referred to in this document indicate the areas that can be soldered.
The footprint shown in Figure 2 is redefined for both a solder resist and a Cu layout in
Figure 5. Note that the overlap/gap between the solder resist and the Cu is 0.05 mm in
this particular example.
0.65 mm
0.4 mm
footprint
dimensions
1.35 mm
solder resist defined
copper defined
0.05 mm
0.05 mm
1.35 mm
1.35 mm
0.05 mm
0.65 mm
0.4 mm
0.05 mm
0.65 mm
0.4 mm
001aac833
Fig 5.
Solder land dimensions for SOT266-1 package, either solder resist or Cu defined
2.2 Semiconductor packages
Semiconductor packages can be divided into groups. In this document, they are
categorized according to the shape of the terminals, as this has the largest influence on
board assembly. Accordingly, the three main semiconductor family types are:
• leaded packages
• leadless packages with solder balls
• leadless packages with solder lands
Apart from the terminals, packages can have heat sinks and/or ground connections.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
leads
terminal types
solder balls
lands (leadless)
001aac834
Fig 6.
Package types
Leaded packages
• Coplanarity is an important issue: coplanarity must be within the specifications (refer
to the package outline drawing) in order to prevent the occurrence of open circuits or
bad joints; poor coplanarity may also increase problems caused by board warpage
• The tips of leads, where they are cut out of the lead frame, do not have to be wetted
after reflow
• Within NXP Semiconductors, two possible lead finishes are applied: pure Sn, and
NiPdAu. The finish used depends on the package family. SnPb finish is still used, but
only for selected applications.
• Leaded packages can be reflow soldered: standard gullwing packages can be wave
soldered only if the lead pitch is equal to, or larger than, 0.65 mm and if no exposed
heatsink is present. Wave soldering smaller pitches will lead to a higher defect level.
001aak340
001aak339
a. Gullwing
Fig 7.
AN10365
Application note
b. Flatpack
Example of leaded packages
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
001aac835
Fig 8.
Example of leaded package: QFP
Leadless packages with solder balls
• These semiconductor packages are particularly good at self-alignment, as the
package body is essentially suspended over molten solder during reflow; therefore,
this package type results in a robust reflow soldering process
• The balls are made of SnPb, or SAC for Pb-free applications
• Packages with solder balls can only be reflow soldered, they cannot be wave soldered
001aac836
Fig 9.
Example of leadless packages with solder balls: BGA, TFBGA
Leadless packages with solder lands
• The exposed lead frame edges at the sides of the semiconductor packages are often
not finished - these do not have to be wetted for a proper joint
• Possible solder land finishes are pure Sn or NiPdAu for Pb-free applications and in
exceptions SnPb
• Leadless packages with solder lands can only be reflow soldered, they cannot be
wave soldered
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
001aak338
Fig 10. Example of leadless packages with solder lands: QFN (including ultra small),
SON
001aac837
Fig 11. Example of leadless packages with solder lands: HVQFN
Semiconductor packages can have heat sinks at the top or the bottom of the package.
The following remarks apply to those with heat sinks at the bottom, such as HVQFNs:
• Even if the exposed pad does not have to be soldered to the board for electrical or
thermal purposes, the package reliability may improve if it is soldered to the board
• Voids in the solder joint connecting the heat sink pad to the board are allowed,
provided that this does not conflict with demands made by the application
2.3 Solder paste
In line with European legislation, it is recommended to use Pb-free solder paste, although
exemptions are granted for selected applications, such as automotive.
A wide variety of Pb-free solder pastes are available, containing combinations of tin,
copper, antimony, silver, bismuth, indium, and other elements. The different types of
Pb-free solder pastes have a wide range of melting temperatures. Solders with a high
melting point may be more suitable for the automotive industry, whereas solders with a
low melting point can be used for soldering consumer semiconductor packages.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
As a substitute for SnPb solder, the most common Pb-free paste is SAC, which is a
combination of tin (Sn), silver (Ag), and copper (Cu). These three elements are usually in
the range of 3 % to 4 % of Ag and 0 % to 1 % of Cu, which is near eutectic. SAC typically
has a melting temperature of around 217 C, and it requires a reflow temperature of more
than 235 C.
Table 1.
Typical solder paste characteristics
Solder
Melting temperature
Minimum peak reflow
temperature[1]
SAC
217 C
235 C
SnPb
183 C
215 C
[1]
Temperature is measured at solder joint.
Care should be taken when selecting a solder, and note that solder types are categorized
by solder sphere size. For small packages or fine pitch applications solder paste type 3 or
better is recommended.
A no-clean solder paste does not require cleaning after reflow soldering and is therefore
preferred, provided that this is possible within the process window. If a no-clean paste is
used, flux residues may be visible on the board after reflow.
For more information on the solder paste, please contact your solder paste supplier.
2.4 Specific items for HVQFN/HVSON packages
2.4.1 Pin 1 Keep out area
For the purpose of package orientation, a so called “pin 1” identification is included. This
can either be as an additional small pin/pad as shown in design 1 (left) of Figure 12, or a
notch in the diepad as shown in design 2 (right) of Figure 12.
Pin 1 Vo
keep-out area
design 1
design 2
aaa-003680
Fig 12. HVQFN/HVSON package ‘Keep out area’
This feature may not necessarily be defined in the package outline as published. However
in the event of an open trace on the PC-board, there may be unintentional contact
between this trace and the pin 1 pad, leading to a malfunction. In order to prevent this,
NXP prescribes a so called “keep out” area for the HVQFN corner/pin 1 area of the
PC-board, as indicated in Figure 12. This applies in general for all HVQFN/HVSON
designs.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
2.4.2 HVQFN wettable sides
In a standard HVQFN/HVSON package, the sides of the terminals consist of bare Cu. As
a result, the sides of the terminals may not be wetted during reflow soldering. Non-wetting
failures are difficult to detect in HVQFN/HVSON packages.
019aac652
Fig 13. HVQFN/HVSON package with ‘wettable flank’
A 'wettable flank' option may be requested for variants of these packages with a terminal
pitch  0.65 mm. The exposed edge of each terminal contains a small cavity. The cavity is
plated, ensuring the solder flows into it and adheres to the side of the terminal.
Non-wetting of the sides can be detected more easily with the wettable-flank option,
simplifying the inspection process.
copper
plated
019aac650
3-d view showing cavities
019aac651
019aac649
side view
bottom view
Fig 14. 3-d, side and bottom views
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
3. Moisture sensitivity level and storage
If there is moisture trapped inside a package, and the package is exposed to a reflow
temperature profile, the moisture may turn into steam, which expands rapidly. This may
cause damage to the inside of the package (delamination), and it may result in a cracked
semiconductor package body (the popcorn effect). A package’s sensitivity to moisture, or
Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL), depends on the package characteristics and on the
temperature it is exposed to during reflow soldering.
The MSL of semiconductor packages can be determined through standardized tests in
which the packages are moisturized to a predetermined level and then exposed to a
temperature profile. Studies have shown that small and thin packages reach higher
temperatures during reflow than larger packages. Therefore, small and thin packages
must be classified at higher reflow temperatures.
The temperatures that packages are exposed to are always measured at the top of the
package body.
Depending on the damage after this test, an MSL of 1 (not sensitive to moisture) to 6 (very
sensitive to moisture) is attached to the semiconductor package. For every product, this
MSL is given on a packing label on the shipping box. Each package is rated at two
temperatures, for SnPb and Pb-free soldering conditions. An example of a packing label is
given in Figure 15.
001aac839
Fig 15. Example of MSL information on packing label; note the two MSLs corresponding
to the two reflow processes
An MSL corresponds to a certain out-of-bag time (or floor life). If semiconductor packages
are removed from their sealed dry-bags and not soldered within their out-of-bag time, they
must be baked prior to reflow, in order to remove any moisture that might have soaked
into the package. MSLs and temperatures on the packing labels are to be respected at all
times. Naturally, this also means that semiconductor packages with a critical MSL may not
remain on the placement machine between assembly runs. Nor should partly-assembled
boards, between two reflow steps, be stored longer than indicated by the MSL level.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
The semiconductor package floor life, as a function of the MSL, can be found in Table 2.
Table 2.
Floor life as a function of MSL[1]
MSL
Floor life
Time
Conditions
1
unlimited
 30 C/85 % RH
2
1 year
 30 C/60 % RH
2a
4 weeks
 30 C/60 % RH
3
168 hours
 30 C/60 % RH
4
72 hours
 30 C/60 % RH
5
48 hours
 30 C/60 % RH
5a
24 hours
 30 C/60 % RH
6
6 hours
 30 C/60 % RH
[1]
Refer to IEC 61760-2 Transportation and storage conditions of surface mounting devices and/or
IPC/JEDEC J-STD-033B.1 Handling, packing, shipping and use of moisture/reflow sensitive surface mount
devices.
4. Surface mounting process
4.1 Solder paste printing
Solder paste printing requires a stencil aperture to be completely filled with paste. When
the board is released from the stencil, the solder paste is supposed to adhere to the board
so that all of the paste is released from the stencil aperture and a good solder paste
deposit remains on the board. Ideally, the volume of solder paste on the board should
equal the ‘volume’ of the stencil aperture.
In practice, however, not all of the solder paste is released from the stencil aperture. The
percentage of paste released depends largely on the aperture dimensions, that is, the
length and width and the depth (the stencil thickness). If a stencil aperture becomes very
small, the paste will no longer release completely. Furthermore, stencil apertures must be
larger if a thicker stencil is used.
squeegee
solder
paste
pad
stencil
board
001aac840
Fig 16. Stencil printing
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Another important factor is the aperture shape, that is, whether the aperture is rectangular,
trapezoidal, or otherwise. Paste release also depends - amongst others - on the loading
and speed of the squeegee, the board separation speed, the printing direction, and the
aperture orientation. In essence, all of these parameters must be adjusted so that all
solder paste deposits on one board, from the smallest to the largest, are printed properly.
Consequences of insufficient solder paste printing are usually open contacts or bad joints.
These may arise because:
• The solder paste deposit is not sufficiently high: components or their leads may not
make proper contact with the paste, resulting in open circuits or bad joints,
or
• There is insufficient solder volume for a proper solder joint, also resulting in open
circuits,
or
• The activator is used up rapidly in a small solder paste deposit, so that the paste no
longer properly wets the component metallization, also resulting in open circuits
A second important aspect in solder paste printing is smearing. If some solder paste
bleeds between the stencil and the board during one printing stroke, then the next board
may not fit tightly to the stencil, allowing more paste to bleed onto the bottom of the
stencil. Once this effect starts, it strengthens itself. As a result, the solder paste may
eventually form bridges that stretch from one paste deposit to the next. If a bridge is
narrow enough, it will snap open during reflow, as the volume of molten solder seeks to
attain minimum surface area. A wider bridge, however, may remain stable, resulting in a
short-circuit.
To achieve a difference in solder paste volumes on one board, it is possible to use a
stencil that has a different thickness at different locations. An example of this is the
step-stencil. This, however, is only recommended if there is no other solution.
Stencils are commonly made from Nickel; they may be either electro-formed or laser-cut
(preferred). Typical stencil thicknesses are given in Table 3.
Table 3.
Typical stencil thickness
Semiconductor package pitch
Stencil thickness
 0.5 mm
150 m
0.4 mm to 0.5 mm
100 m to 125 m
A general rule is that the stencil apertures must be 25 m smaller than the solder lands,
on all sides. In other words, the solder paste lies 25 m inward from the solder land edge.
This usually results in stencil aperture dimensions that are 50 m smaller than the
corresponding solder land dimensions; see Figure 17.
This rule does not apply for a BGA; for a BGA the solder paste deposit is shown explicitly
in the PCB footprint specification. Although BGA balls and their solder pads are circular,
square stencil apertures are sometimes preferred for a BGA.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
solder resist defined
copper defined
0.025 mm
0.025 mm
1.25 mm
1.25 mm
0.025 mm
0.65 mm
0.3 mm
0.025 mm
0.65 mm
0.3 mm
001aac841
Fig 17. Solder paste printing on solder and capped resist defined layouts
Another exception lies with the very large solder lands, such as when printing solder paste
on a heat sink land. In that case, it is advised to print an array of smaller solder paste
deposits. The solder paste should cover approximately 20 % of the total land area. It is
also advised to keep the solder paste away from the edges of this land: the solder paste
pattern, including the spacing between the deposits, should have a coverage of 35 % of
the land area; see Figure 18 and Figure 19.
001aac862
001aac842
Fig 18. Paste coverage
Fig 19. Pattern coverage
A paste printing pattern for exposed die pads is illustrated by the example shown in
Figure 20. A HVQFN48 with an exposed pad of 5.1 mm  5.1 mm, for example, should
have nine solder paste deposits that are arranged in a three-by-three array. The solder
paste deposits are 0.76 mm  0.76 mm, and the distance between them is 0.37 mm.
This way, the solder paste area is 9  (0.76 mm  0.76 mm), and dividing this by the land
area 5.1 mm  5.1 mm yields a solder paste coverage of approximately 20 %.
Similarly, the solder paste pattern (the paste, plus the area between the deposits) has a
length of 3.02 mm. The pattern area, 3.02 mm  3.02 mm, divided by the land area, yields
a paste pattern coverage of approximately 35 %.
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
0.76 mm
001aac843
0.37 mm
3.02 mm
5.1 mm
Fig 20. Solder paste dimensions on the land area for an exposed die pad of HVQFN48
Depending on the solder paste used, the solder paste deposits printed on a large land
may not always coalesce completely. In some cases, individual solder joints can still be
recognized between the exposed die pad and solder land on the board. It is possible that
voids remain in the solder joints. Whether or not voids or incomplete coalescing of the
solder are a problem, depends on the application. For low-power devices in which little
heat is generated, up to 80 % of voids may still be acceptable.
Keep in mind that printing a smaller volume of solder paste could have adverse effects on
the solder joint reliability. Also, if there are vias in pads, solder paste deposits should be
arranged so that paste is never printed directly over a via.
4.2 Semiconductor package placement
The required placement accuracy of a package depends on a variety of factors, such as
package size and the terminal pitch, but also the package type itself. During reflow, when
the solder is molten, a package that has not been placed perfectly may center itself on the
pads: this is referred to as self-alignment. Therefore, the required placement accuracy of
a package may be less tight if this package is a trusted self-aligner. It is known, for
example, that a BGA is good at self-alignment, as the package body essentially rests on a
number of droplets of molten solder, resulting in minimal friction.
Remark: Self-alignment properties can be improved by performing the reflow process in
an N2 environment.
Typical placement tolerances, as a function of the semiconductor package terminal pitch,
are given in Table 4.
Table 4.
AN10365
Application note
Typical placement accuracy
Package terminal pitch
Placement tolerance (3 sigma)
 0.65 mm
100 m
< 0.65 mm > 0.5 mm
50 m
< 0.5 mm
30 m
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Surface mount reflow soldering description
Semiconductor packages are usually placed with two types of machines. If the highest
placement accuracy is required, the slower but more accurate machines must be used.
These machines are also often more flexible when it comes to unusual package shapes,
that may require dedicated nozzles and non-standard trays. If the highest placement
accuracy is not necessary, and there are no special requirements, fast component
mounters or chip shooters, can be used. These machines can process up to 100,000
components per hour.
The placement force may also be an important parameter for some packages. In theory, a
semiconductor package is always pressed down into the solder paste until it rests on a
single layer of solder paste powder particles - the rest of the solder paste is pressed aside.
A consequence that is immediately apparent, is that the solder paste that is pushed aside,
or that bulges outside the package, may cause bridges with neighboring solder paste
deposits.
In extreme cases, solder paste may not only bulge outside the pads, but may actually be
blasted further away from the pads, so that a small amount of solder paste is no longer
connected to the paste deposit it originally came from. This must always be avoided as
the splattered solder paste may cause a short circuit on the board, and the original solder
paste deposit may then have insufficient solder. Incidentally, this effect is often caused in
part by use of an improper nozzle shape, so that the paste is actually blown away by air
from the nozzle.
If the placement force is too low, there is a chance that a semiconductor package terminal
does not make sufficient contact with the solder paste. In that case, there is a risk that the
solder paste tackiness will not be able to hold it in place up to the reflow zone in the oven,
and the package may be displaced. In addition, even if the semiconductor package
remains in place, there may be bad contact between the package terminals and the solder
paste resulting in open contacts or bad joints.
Therefore, the placement force must always be adjusted so that there is no excessive
paste bulging or even splattering and there is a proper contact between the
semiconductor package and the solder paste. The necessary placement force to achieve
this will depend on a number of factors, including the package dimensions. Typical forces
are 1.5 N to 4 N. Note however, that some of the more modern machines have a sensor
that detects the package’s proximity to the solder paste so that the placement speed is
reduced as soon as the package comes near to, or touches, the solder paste. In this way,
splattering can be minimized.
4.3 Reflow soldering
The most important step in reflow soldering is reflow itself when the solder paste deposits
melt and soldered joints are formed. This is achieved by passing the boards through an
oven and exposing them to a temperature profile that varies in time.
A temperature profile essentially consists of three phases:
1. Preheat: the board is warmed up to a temperature that is lower than the melting point
of the solder alloy
2. Reflow: the board is heated to a peak temperature that is well above the melting point
of the solder but below the temperature at which the components and boards are
damaged
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3. Cooling down: the board is cooled down rapidly so that soldered joints freeze before
the board exits the oven
The peak temperature during reflow has an upper and a lower limit:
• Lower limit of peak temperature (measured at the solder joint): the minimum peak
temperature must be at least high enough for the solder to make reliable solder joints,
determined by solder paste characteristics; contact your paste supplier for details
• Upper limit of peak temperature (measured at the top of the component body); the
maximum peak temperature must be lower than:
a. The test temperature used for MSL assessment; see Section 3 “Moisture
sensitivity level and storage”.
b. The temperature at which the boards are damaged, a board characteristic; contact
your board supplier for details.
A rough indication of the recommended minimum peak temperatures for SnPb and SAC
alloys is given in Table 5. However, these values should be verified with your solder paste
supplier.
Table 5.
Typical solder paste characteristics
Solder
Melting temperature
Minimum peak reflow
temperature
SAC
217 C
235 C
SnPb
183 C
215 C
When a board is exposed to the profile temperature, certain areas on the board will
become hotter than others: a board has hot spots (the hottest areas) and cold spots (the
coolest areas). Cold spots are usually found in sections of the board that hold a high
density of large components, as these soak up a lot of heat. Large areas of Cu in a board
will also reduce the local temperature. Hot spots, on the other hand, are found in areas
with few components, or only the smallest components, and with little Cu. Finally, the
board dimensions, and the board orientation in the oven, may also affect the location of
hot and cold spots.
The temperature of the hot spot on a board must be lower than the upper limit of the peak
temperature. Similarly, the temperature of the cold spot must be higher than the lower limit
of the peak temperature.
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temperature
maximum peak temperature
= MSL limit, damage level
minimum peak temperature
= minimum soldering temperature
peak
temperature
time
001aac844
Fig 21. Temperature profiles for large and small components
In Figure 21, the grey band with the large component represents cold spots, and the dark
band, at the top, with the smallest component, represents hot spots. In both cases, the
graph first represents a component body temperature, measured at the top of the body. In
the preheat phase, the hot spots will heat up rapidly to a temperature lower than the
melting point of the solder alloy. They may remain at this temperature for a while. Note
however, that small solder paste deposits should not remain at an intermediate
temperature for so long that their activator runs out: for small solder paste deposits, a fast
temperature profile is preferred. The cold spots on the board will warm up far more slowly.
The oven settings should be planned so that the cold as well as the hot spots will have
reached roughly the same temperature by the end of the preheat phase.
The second phase in the reflow profile is the reflow zone, in which the solder melts and
forms soldered joints. The minimum peak temperature, which all solder joints in the cold
as well as the hot spots must reach, depends on the solder alloy. However, no region on
the board may surpass a maximum peak temperature as this would result in component
and/or board damage. See Section 3 “Moisture sensitivity level and storage” for more
information. Even if the cold and hot spots at the start of the reflow phase have roughly the
same temperature, the hot spots will reach a higher peak temperature than the cold spots.
Yet, both the hot spots and the cold spots must lie within the allowed peak temperature
range. This may require some tweaking of the oven temperature settings and conveyor
belt speeds. In some cases, the board layout may have to be optimized to limit the
temperature difference between the cold and the hot spots.
When reflow soldering, the peak temperature should never exceed the temperature at
which either the components or the board are damaged. The maximum peak temperature
for components is partially determined by their moisture sensitivity. For reflow soldering
with SnPb solder, the peak temperature should be higher than 215 C; when soldering
with SAC, the peak temperature should be higher than 235 C, but should not exceed a
temperature of 260 C. Note that this usually implies a smaller process window for Pb-free
soldering, thus requiring tighter process control.
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thermal damage
maximum peak temperature:
MSL test temperature
unreliable joints
minimum peak temperature:
minimum solder joint temperature
001aac845
Fig 22. Fitting both the hot and cold spots into the required peak temperature range
The black lines in Figure 22 represent the actual temperature profiles for a number of
different temperature spots on a board. The bottom black line represents the coldest spot,
and the top black line represents the hottest spot. The blue line represents the minimum
peak temperature, and the red line is the maximum peak temperature. At the top left,
some regions on the board are exposed to temperatures that are too high, exceeding MSL
qualification conditions. At the bottom left, some regions on the board are exposed to
temperatures that are too low, resulting in unreliable joints. At the right, all of the regions
on the board have peak temperatures that fall within the upper and lower limits.
Reflow may be done either in air or in nitrogen. In general, nitrogen should not be
necessary; in that case, air is preferred because of the lower cost. Reflow may be done in
convection reflow ovens, some of which have additional infrared heating. Furthermore,
using vapor phase reflow soldering can reduce temperature differences on a board.
Application boards are usually populated with components on both sides of the board.
This means that the board will need to undergo a soldering process twice. It is important,
therefore, that the following details are taken into consideration prior to a double-sided
reflow process to prevent damage to, or malfunction of the components.
• Components should be able to withstand multiple reflow cycles. As components are
MSL classified, they are guaranteed to withstand three reflow cycles.
• If the time between first and second reflow exceeds the floor life of the corresponding
MSL classification, the application board needs to be dried before the second reflow.
Storage between reflow steps in a nitrogen cabinet or sealed MBB is also an option.
• Heavy components mounted during the first reflow may drop off during the second
reflow, either due to their weight or because of vibration during transport through the
reflow oven. Heavy components may be fixed in place with glue before reflow
soldering.
4.4 Solder and terminal finish or solder ball compatibility
When selecting a solder paste, care must be taken that the solder is compatible with both
the board and the semiconductor package finishes. When soldering leaded or leadless
packages, all package finishes can be combined freely with all solders; see Table 6.
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Table 6.
Compatibility of ball and solder paste alloys, for leaded or leadless packages
Terminal finish
SnPb solder
Pb-free solder
SnPb
mature technology
ok
Pb-free
ok
ok
This however, is not the case for packages with solder balls. If these packages are
soldered, the semiconductor package solder balls and the solder paste both melt to form a
single joint. Therefore, it is essential that the reflow temperature profile reaches a
temperature that is high enough for both the solder paste and the solder ball to melt and to
form proper solder joints.
SnPb needs a temperature of at least 215 C, but at least 235 C is required for most
Pb-free solders. There are four options:
• SnPb balls are combined with a SnPb paste: the balls and paste form good joints at a
temperature of 215 C or more. This combination has been used for decades.
• SnPb balls are combined with a Pb-free paste: the paste requires a higher reflow
temperature of at least 235 C; the solder balls only need 215 C so they will also melt
properly: ok.
• Pb-free solder balls are combined with a SnPb paste: in this case only the Pb-free
balls require a higher reflow temperature, whereas the rest of the process does not.
Therefore this combination is not advised.
• Pb-free solder balls are combined with a Pb-free paste: now the paste requires the
same reflow temperature and so do the solder balls: ok.
The text above is summarized in Table 7.
Table 7.
Compatibility of ball and solder paste alloys, for packages with solder balls
Solder ball
SnPb solder
Pb-free solder
SnPb balls
mature technology
ok
Pb-free balls
not advised
ok
5. Inspection and repair
5.1 Inspection
In general, Pb-free solder is a little less successful at wetting than SnPb solders; SAC
fillets will have a larger contact angle between the fillet and the wetted surface. When
using Pb-free solder this contact angle may typically be 20 to 30. Notice the difference
between SnPb and Pb-free solder in Figure 23: the photograph on the left (SnPb) shows
the solder lands have been wetted completely. The photograph on the right shows the
solder has left part of the solder lands unwetted.
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001aac846
a. SnPb solder joints
001aac863
b. Pb-free solder joints
Fig 23. Difference in wetting between SnPb and Pb-free solder joints
Another visual aspect in Pb-free soldering is that Pb-free solder joints tend to be less
shiny than SnPb solder joints and they may have striation marks. This is due to the
different microstructure that is formed during solidification. Although SnPb solder joints
should be rejected if they look this way, this is normal for Pb-free and no reason to reject
Pb-free solder joints.
001aac865
001aac847
a. SnPb solder joints
b. Pb-free solder joints
Fig 24. Difference in appearance between SnPb and Pb-free solder joints
Non-wetting of lead frame parts as a result of punching or sawing is not a reason for
rejection.
Other inspection methods besides optical inspection, such as, for design and process
development purposes are:
•
•
•
•
Automatic optical inspection (AOI)
Examination by roentgen ray (X-ray)
Cross-sectional analysis
Dye penetration test
5.2 Repair
Sometimes, a package lead that has not been soldered properly may be repaired simply
by heating this single lead with the tip of a soldering iron. In this case, it is sufficient to heat
the lead until the solder melts completely; a new device should not be necessary.
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In other situations however, there may be a need to replace a semiconductor package on
the board. In that case, the rework process should comprise the following steps:
1. Device removal
2. Site preparation
3. Application of solder paste to the site
4. Device placement
5. Device attachment
It is advised to dry bake the board for 4 hours at 125 C prior to steps 1 to 5.
5.2.1 Device removal
In order to remove a semiconductor package from the board, it must be heated; if
possible, this must be done as locally as possible to avoid heating the surrounding board
and components. Packages with leads at a relatively large pitch may first be removed
from the board by cutting the leads, after which only the leads must be de-soldered. This
can be done with a soldering iron.
Semiconductor packages without leads must be heated entirely for removal. Heat can be
supplied using a hot air gun, a soldering iron, or focused infrared energy, depending on
the package type and availability. If necessary, the bottom of the board can also be
heated. The temperature to which the package solder joints should be heated depends on
the solder that was originally used, and it is best to keep the temperature as low as
possible, just above the melting point of the solder alloy used.
As soon as the solder has melted, the semiconductor package is lifted from the board
using a vacuum wand or tweezers; note that package removal should not be initiated until
the solder has melted entirely.
Re-use of removed semiconductor packages is not recommended.
5.2.2 Site preparation
After the device has been removed, the board area must be prepared for the new device.
Prepare the site by removing any excess solder and/or flux remains from the board.
Ideally this can be done on an appropriate de-soldering station, using solder wick or an
alternative method.
After most of the solder has been removed from a solder land, a very thin layer of solder
will be left on top of a few intermetallic layers. In the case of Cu boards for example, there
will be layers of Cu3Sn, Cu6Sn5 and finally solder, on top of the Cu. The top layer of solder
is easily soldered.
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normal
too hot for too long
solder
Cu6Sn5
Cu3Sn
Cu3Sn
Cu
Cu
001aac848
Fig 25. Overheating and Cu3Sn formation
If however, the pad is heated too much during removal of the rejected semiconductor
package and during site preparation, the top two layers will also be converted into Cu3Sn.
In this case there will only be the Cu3Sn intermetallic layer on top of the Cu. Unfortunately,
Cu3Sn is hardly wettable, as a result, it will become very difficult to solder the replacement
package at this location. Therefore, care must be taken during reject package removal
and site redress that the solder lands are heated not more than necessary.
5.2.3 Solder paste printing
After the site redress is completed solder paste should be applied to either the site or the
device. This can be done by using a miniature stencil or other in-house techniques.
Preferably, the same type of solder paste should be used as was originally applied on the
board.
If the new device that is to be soldered to the board has solder balls, solder paste printing
is not necessary. In this case it suffices to apply a thin layer of tacky flux on the solder
lands on the PCB.
5.2.4 Device placement
The last step of the repair process is to solder the new semiconductor package on the
board. If necessary, the new package may be aligned under a microscope or split beam
system, possibly in a special repair station. If this is not possible, try to align the device
with board markers.
5.2.5 Soldering
To reflow the solder, apply a temperature profile that is as close as possible to the original
reflow profile used for assembling the board. Take care that the board and/or
semiconductor package are not moved or tilted until the solder has solidified completely.
Note that if a board is exposed to reflow temperatures a second time, it may be necessary
to dry bake the board for the sake of the components that have already been mounted.
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6. Component handling
6.1 Electrostatic charges
Damage to semiconductors from ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) is a major cause of
rejects and poses an increased risk to miniaturized packages. Electrostatic charge can be
stored in many things, for example, man-made fiber clothing, moving machinery, objects
with air blowing across them, plastic storage bins, sheets of paper stored in plastic
envelopes, paper from electrostatic copying machines, and people. Electrostatic
discharge is the transfer of an electrostatic charge between bodies at different potentials
and occurs with direct contact or when induced by an electrostatic field. It is
recommended that the following ESD precautions are complied with.
6.1.1 Workstations for handling ESD sensitive components
Figure 26 shows a working area suitable for safely handling electrostatic-sensitive
devices. The following precautions should be observed.
• Workbench and floor surface should be lined with anti-static material
• Persons at a workbench should be earthed via a wrist strap and a resistor
• All mains-powered equipment should be connected to the mains via an earth leakage
switch
• Equipment cases should be grounded
• Relative humidity should be maintained between 40 % and 50 %
• An ionizer should be used to neutralize objects with immobile static charges in case
other solutions fail
• Keep static materials, such as plastic envelopes and plastic trays away from the
workbench. If there are any such static materials on the workbench remove them
before handling the semiconductor devices.
• Refer to the current version of the handbook EN 100015 (CECC 00015) “Protection of
Electrostatic Sensitive Devices”, which explains in more detail how to arrange an ESD
protective area for handling ESD sensitive devices
6.1.2 Receipt and storage of components
Packing for electrostatic devices should be made of anti-static/conductive materials.
Warning labels on both primary and secondary packing show that the contents are
sensitive to electrostatic discharge. The electronic components should be kept in their
original packing whilst in storage. If a bulk container is partially unpacked, the unpacking
should be done at a protected workstation. Any electronic components that are stored
temporarily should be re-packed in conductive or anti-static packing or carriers.
6.1.3 PCB assembly
All tools used during assembly, including soldering tools and solder baths, must be
grounded. All hand tools should be of conductive or anti-static material and where
possible should not be insulated. Standard precautions for manual handling of
electrostatic-sensitive devices need to be taken into account.
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Conductive
compartment
trays
Electrostatic
voltage sensor
Cotton overall
Safety
isolation
transformer
Distribution
supply box
Supply
earth
Conductive boots
or heel grounding
protectors
Conductive
bench top
Conductive stool
1 MΩ
Common
reference
point
Strap (resistance
between 900 kΩ and 5.0 MΩ)
1 MΩ
1 MΩ
Conductive floor mat
001aak350
Ground
Fig 26. ESD protected workstation environment
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6.1.4 Ultra small leadless packages (such as SOD882, SOT883)
0.30
0.22
Fig 27. SOD882
0.65
1.02
0.95
0.30
0.22
1
0.55
0.47
Dimensions in mm
0.50
0.46
3
0.30
0.22
2
0.65
0.30
0.22
0.62
0.55
0.55
0.47
0.50
0.46
0.62
0.55
2
1.02
0.95
1
0.20
0.12
001aak336
0.35
Dimensions in mm
001aak337
Fig 28. SOT883
The main advantage of ultra small leadless packages is that they need less board space
for a given function of a semiconductor device than packages with leads. These packages
however, are more susceptible to mechanical damage due to their size and construction
than standard gullwing packages or packages with relatively large soldering areas. Any
sheer forces acting on the side of the body of the device or excessive bending of the
board can easily cause the device to be damaged or dislodged. Compliance with
international board mounting standard IPC-A-610 is recommended when working with
boards.
During manual processes such as physical inspection, the moving of boards to other
locations and/or other manual handling processes, there is risk of damage to ultra-small
leadless packages.
Special care is needed if flexible substrates (e.g. thickness in the range 0.1 mm - 0.2 mm)
are used. They are designed to be folded but excessive bending, at positions where
semiconductor packages are placed, needs to be excluded. During transportation in
production, supporting with carrier tools (frames) is highly recommended.
The risk of damage is greater if the devices are mounted near the edge of the board rather
than towards the center of the board where the small components can be surrounded by
other components, thereby providing a form of protection.
Manual touching should be avoided. If manual handling is unavoidable, handle with care
and avoid applying shear forces of more than 4 N to the sides of the devices. An
assembled board should be held by the edges (see Figure 29), or handled while
contained in a specially designed cassette or other dedicated carrier tool (frame).
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001aak207
Fig 29. Manual handling of an assembled board
7. Abbreviations
Table 8.
Abbreviations
Acronym
Description
BT
Bismaleimide Triazine
FR
Flame Resistant
HVQFN
Heatsink Very thin Quad Flat-pack No leads
MBB
Moisture Barrier Bag
QFN
Quad Flat No leads
QFP
Quad Flat Package
RCCB
Residual Current Circuit Breaker
SON
Small Outline No Leads
SSOP
Shrink Small Outline Package
TFBGA
Thin and Fine-pitch Ball Grid Array
URL
Uniform Resource Locator
8. References
AN10365
Application note
[1]
IPC/JEDEC J-STD-020D August 2007 — Joint Industry Standard Moisture/Reflow,
Sensitivity Classification for Nonhermetic Solid State Surface Mount Devices
[2]
IPC-7351 — Generic requirements for Surface Mount Design and Land Pattern
Standard, IPC
[3]
EN 100015/CECC 00015 — Protection of Electrostatic Sensitive Devices, European
Standard
[4]
3997.750.04888 — Quality reference handbook, NXP
[5]
IPC-A-610D — Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies, IPC
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9. Legal information
9.1
Definitions
Draft — The document is a draft version only. The content is still under
internal review and subject to formal approval, which may result in
modifications or additions. NXP Semiconductors does not give any
representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of
information included herein and shall have no liability for the consequences of
use of such information.
9.2
Disclaimers
Limited warranty and liability — Information in this document is believed to
be accurate and reliable. However, NXP Semiconductors does not give any
representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or
completeness of such information and shall have no liability for the
consequences of use of such information. NXP Semiconductors takes no
responsibility for the content in this document if provided by an information
source outside of NXP Semiconductors.
In no event shall NXP Semiconductors be liable for any indirect, incidental,
punitive, special or consequential damages (including - without limitation - lost
profits, lost savings, business interruption, costs related to the removal or
replacement of any products or rework charges) whether or not such
damages are based on tort (including negligence), warranty, breach of
contract or any other legal theory.
Notwithstanding any damages that customer might incur for any reason
whatsoever, NXP Semiconductors’ aggregate and cumulative liability towards
customer for the products described herein shall be limited in accordance
with the Terms and conditions of commercial sale of NXP Semiconductors.
Right to make changes — NXP Semiconductors reserves the right to make
changes to information published in this document, including without
limitation specifications and product descriptions, at any time and without
notice. This document supersedes and replaces all information supplied prior
to the publication hereof.
Suitability for use — NXP Semiconductors products are not designed,
authorized or warranted to be suitable for use in life support, life-critical or
safety-critical systems or equipment, nor in applications where failure or
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malfunction of an NXP Semiconductors product can reasonably be expected
to result in personal injury, death or severe property or environmental
damage. NXP Semiconductors and its suppliers accept no liability for
inclusion and/or use of NXP Semiconductors products in such equipment or
applications and therefore such inclusion and/or use is at the customer’s own
risk.
Applications — Applications that are described herein for any of these
products are for illustrative purposes only. NXP Semiconductors makes no
representation or warranty that such applications will be suitable for the
specified use without further testing or modification.
Customers are responsible for the design and operation of their applications
and products using NXP Semiconductors products, and NXP Semiconductors
accepts no liability for any assistance with applications or customer product
design. It is customer’s sole responsibility to determine whether the NXP
Semiconductors product is suitable and fit for the customer’s applications and
products planned, as well as for the planned application and use of
customer’s third party customer(s). Customers should provide appropriate
design and operating safeguards to minimize the risks associated with their
applications and products.
NXP Semiconductors does not accept any liability related to any default,
damage, costs or problem which is based on any weakness or default in the
customer’s applications or products, or the application or use by customer’s
third party customer(s). Customer is responsible for doing all necessary
testing for the customer’s applications and products using NXP
Semiconductors products in order to avoid a default of the applications and
the products or of the application or use by customer’s third party
customer(s). NXP does not accept any liability in this respect.
Export control — This document as well as the item(s) described herein
may be subject to export control regulations. Export might require a prior
authorization from competent authorities.
9.3
Trademarks
Notice: All referenced brands, product names, service names and trademarks
are the property of their respective owners.
All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.
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10. Contents
1
2
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.4.1
2.4.2
3
4
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
5
5.1
5.2
5.2.1
5.2.2
5.2.3
5.2.4
5.2.5
6
6.1
6.1.1
6.1.2
6.1.3
6.1.4
7
8
9
9.1
9.2
9.3
10
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Printed-circuit boards and footprints . . . . . . . . . 3
Semiconductor packages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Solder paste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Specific items for HVQFN/HVSON packages. 11
Pin 1 Keep out area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
HVQFN wettable sides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Moisture sensitivity level and storage . . . . . . 13
Surface mounting process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Solder paste printing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Semiconductor package placement . . . . . . . . 17
Reflow soldering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Solder and terminal finish or solder ball
compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Inspection and repair. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Device removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Site preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Solder paste printing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Device placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Soldering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Component handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Electrostatic charges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Workstations for handling ESD sensitive
components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Receipt and storage of components . . . . . . . . 26
PCB assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Ultra small leadless packages
(such as SOD882, SOT883). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Legal information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Disclaimers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Trademarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Please be aware that important notices concerning this document and the product(s)
described herein, have been included in section ‘Legal information’.
© NXP B.V. 2012.
All rights reserved.
For more information, please visit: http://www.nxp.com
For sales office addresses, please send an email to: [email protected]com
Date of release: 30 July 2012
Document identifier: AN10365