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Pb-Free v/s Tin-Lead Reliability Comparison for Telecom/High Reliability Applications
Keywords: Telecom Industry, Pb-free, PCBA Reliability Testing
With European Union's (EU's) RoHS directives coming into force in July 2006 for consumer electronics products, the transition to lead-free solder has occurred at a rapid pace. This push has driven many OEM suppliers/manufacturers to adopt to lead-free and End of Life many of their conventional Tin-Lead components. This has driven the Telecom or the hi-reliability applications to accept the lead-free solder compositions with many reliability anomalies unanswered. While there have been many studies published on long term reliability at the component level, there have been few studies focused on the time zero reliability of the joints. The goal of this study is to identify and weed out early (and marginal) manufacturing and design defects that would crop up due to the solder metallurgy change using a sequential testing. Normalized comparison data between Pb-free and Tin-Lead solder alloys for high complexity product assemblies is presented in this study. The sequential test is focused at the PCBA level and involves a series of test that includes: Thermal Aging, Mechanical Shock, Vibration and Functional Test over Temperature. The solder joint reliability comparison is presented against these tests for the different PCBA constructions.
Ganesh Iyer, Manufacturing/Component Engineer
Cisco Systems
San Jose, CA

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