Surface mount PCBs (Part 2 – BGAs)
In my first post I described the process of reliably soldering surface mount components to create sophisticated and high density PCBs. Many of the really exciting components are only available in a Ball Grid Array (BGA) package. Think of ARM processors, high density memory, and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). These complex devices can have too many connections to the silicon to use a traditional Small Outline Package (SOP) or Quad Flat Pack (QFP). On high pin count QFPs the pins are so narrowly spaced that solder bridges are common and pins are far to easy to bend and damage. Ironically BGAs are easier to work with in this regard as they are intrinsically far more resistant to damage prior to mounting.