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Reliability Analysis of Low-Silver BGA Solder Joints Using Four Different Failure Criteria
Keywords: Solder joints, reliability, failure criteria
There is currently no industry standard for solder joint failure criteria used in solder joint reliability studies. As a result, many different failure criteria are used, and the estimated reliability life of solder joints varies with each failure criterion. Examples of current failure criteria include a resistance measurement beyond a particular threshold, a percentage increase in resistance, or a rise in resistance of a specified amount. Thus, it is difficult to compare the results of solder joint reliability failure criteria from published studies. The objective of this study is to compare estimated reliability life for low-silver BGA solder joints under four different failure criteria. The four failure criteria are 5 consecutive readings of a 20% resistance increase as defined in the IPC-9701A standard, a resistance threshold of 500Ω, an infinite resistance (hard open), and a failure criterion proposed by J. Pan and J. Silk [1] which is based on X-bar and R charts of statistical process control. The accelerated thermal cycling data are from the low-silver lead-free BGA study by G. Henshall, et al. [2]. The study included accelerated thermal cycling for mixed Sn-Pb/Pb-free solder joints with varying Ag and "micro alloying" elements as well as Sn-Pb/Sn-Pb joints. Thermal cycling conditions included 0 to 100 C with ten minute dwell times and -40 to 125C with ten minute dwell times. The results show that the life estimation based on the failure criterion proposed by J. Pan and J. Silk [2] is very similar to the life estimation when a 20% resistance increase defined in the IPC-9701A failure criterion is used. The results also show that the reliability life would be overestimated if the failure criterion of a resistance threshold of 500Ω or an infinite resistance (hard open) were used.

[1] J. Pan and J. Silk, "A Study of Solder Joint Failure Criteria," Proceedings of the 44th IMAPS International Symposium on Microelectronics, 2011.
[2] G. Henshall, et al., "Low-Silver BGA Assembly Phase II " Reliability Assessment Seventh Report: Mixed Metallurgy Solder Joint Thermal Cycling Results," Proceedings of IPC APEX, 2011.
Erin Kimura, Student
California Polytechnic State University
Moorpark , CA

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