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How to Solder BGA Chips to Boards

How to Solder BGA Chips to Boards


Ball grid array (BGA) packages are becoming common for chips with large numbers of pins. In a BGA chip,
the "pins" are arranged in a grid on the underside of the chip. Each pad has a little ball of solder affixed to it.
You can only solder BGA chips using a process called "reflow" soldering. Reflow soldering involves placing the
chip on the board, and then heating the whole board to the point where the solder balls melt. The heat
requirements are fairly precise, and accurate reflow soldering requires expensive industrial machinery.
However, you can solder BGA chips at home with a hot plate if you're comfortable with a higher possibility of error.
Be prepared to ruin a few boards before you get this right.
1.Turn the hot plate up to 445 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius.) You can consult the data sheet of your chip
for its recommended soldering temperature, but 445 degrees should work for most components. If your chip is RoHS
compliant and uses lead-free solder, you'll need a higher temperature.
2.Give the hot plate a few minutes to heat up and then use a spatula to gently place the board on the plate.
3.Carefully place the chip on the board so that the solder balls on the underside of the chip are lined up with the pads
on the circuit board.
4.Wait for the hot plate and board to reach soldering temperature. When the board is hot enough, the solder balls under
the BGA chip will melt, soldering the chip to the board. You'll know the solder has melted when you see the chip settle onto
the board. The surface tension of the solder will keep the chip in place and prevent the pads from bridging. Once the solder
melts, give it a couple of seconds to allow the solder time to flow properly.
5.Use a spatula to remove the board from the hot plate. Lift up the board carefully so that you don't jerk the chip out of position.
Set the board down somewhere it can cool safely, and don't disturb it until it's done cooling.
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