303.670.1025 sales@novaenginc.com

What is a Ball Grid Array?

You may have heard the term BGA. Not sure what it means? We have you covered. BGA, short for ball grid array, is a specific type of surface mount technology (SMT). In most cases, BGA packages are used by professionals to mount different types of devices, like microprocessors, permanently. This is done by melting balls of solder between the circuit board and face of the device.

Did you know that a BGA can easily provide more interconnection pins than you can put on either a dual in-line or flat package? The great thing is that professionals can use the whole bottom surface of the device, instead of only the perimeter, and this is very convenient. The appearance of most ball grid arrays stems from people’s high expectations for modern electronic products with various functions, small size, high performance, and lightweight. 

Also, it is worth noting that ball grid arrays comprise several overlapping layers. These have one to more than one million multiplexers, flip-flops, logic gates, or other circuits.  Note that BGAs vary considerably. Certain BGAs, for example, have no connections in the center. In contrast, other BGAs have pins located all across the bottom of the package. Keep in mind that you can accomplish manual routing without creating any breakout pattern for simpler BGAs that have greater pitch and more space in the center of the BGA.

Alignment of Soldier Balls

Note that a ball grid array aligns its solder balls in a grid under the bottom surface of the connected device. This is unlike the dated perimeter-only package type that usually places soldering pins right along the edges of the device.

The benefit of this approach is that it leaves a significantly smaller or more compact footprint on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB), inducing better electrical and thermal properties compared to a conventional perimeter-style mounting package. You can imagine that the popularity of this format has considerably grown in line with the rapid miniaturization of electronics.

Benefits of BGAs

Makes the Most of PCB Space

Did you know that the use of BGA packaging usually means the involvement of fewer components? Also, note that smaller footprints can help save the space on most custom PCBs. And this is excellent as it highly improves the effectiveness of any PCB space.

Better Thermal Performance

This is another crucial benefit. The compact size of PCB based upon BGA packaging allows heat to be dissipated more quickly and easily.

Note that when you mount silicon wafer on top, then most of the heat can easily be transmitted down to the ball grids. And when you mount the silicon wafer at the bottom, then the back of that wafer is securely connected to the top of the packaging. And this is one of the most effective heat dissipation methods.

Reduces Costs

There is no doubt that the efficient and effective use of PCB space offers opportunities to save material and enhance thermoelectric performance at the same time. This is important as it helps ensure the overall quality of various electronic components and reduces the risk of defects.

Better Electrical Performance

The fantastic thing about BGA packaging is that it has no pins that can be broken or bent, which makes BGA packaging sufficiently stable so that you can ensure the electrical performance on a large scale.

Increasing Use of BGA

Using BGAs is very rational because it is quite straightforward, while other technologies have had their share of issues.  For example, the traditional quad flat pack style packages featured very closely spaced and thin pins. And this configuration causes a number of serious difficulties. Some of them are as follows.

Damage

The pins on a Quad Flat Package (QFP) are very thin. This is why professionals have to control the positions of these pins very carefully. As a result, any mishandling is likely to lead to the displacement of these pins, and when it happens, they are very difficult to restore.

Soldering Process

Due to the extremely close spacing of these QFP pins, meticulous control of the soldering process is needed; otherwise, contacts may be easily bridged.

If you have any questions about using BGA’s in your design or how we work with them for your assembly please give us a call.

ABOUT

Nova is a full-service printed circuit board assembler located in Denver, Colorado.