SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Authors: Ross Wilcoxon and Dave Hillman
Company: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
Date Published: 9/21/2003   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: A study has been performed to determine whether the use of Thermal Interface Materials (TIM) between a heat sink and a Plastic Ball Grid Array (PBGA) can affect the reliability of the component solder joints. In this application, the heat sink was attached to the circuit board, thus the static loading associated with the TIM contact pressure was transferred directly to the solder joints.

The initial levels of this static loading are sufficient to potentially affect the creep behavior of the solder during temperature excursions. Thermal cycle testing of this configuration revealed that package reliability was somewhat reduced when heat sinks with thermal interface materials were used. However, the study also showed that when the components were underfilled, the solder joint reliability was not significantly affected by the use of a heat sink and thermal interface material.

Key words: thermal interface material, PBGA reliability, thermal cycle testing, underfill.

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