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RE: BGA soldering

Hi Nate

> Most folks I've seen that have built toaster oven style reflow ovens for
> their SMT work have liked them, but said they're far from perfect.
> They're doing SMT work, but rarely BGA because the buggers are really
> hard to align in a home shop and virtually impossible to test or check,
> other than to just power them up and see if you let the smoke out.
> A commercial shop with a commercial reflow oven (and as Mike mentions, a
> proper way to check for errors after the device is attached) is probably
> much more prudent for anything going to space.

I am rapidly coming to that conclusion. The chip cost is nearly $100 a
piece. If I could find some cheap BGA's to try out I might give it a go, and
if successful I might make some real engineering test models. For the real
thing I'll farm it out to a shop specialising in this.

> Does the component
> have a non BGA equivalent?  BGA usually gets you the most bang for the
> buck when it comes to space vs. pin-count, but is really hard to work
> with on hobbiest/amateur boards.  Is there another high pin-density
> package that your device is available in?

The problem is that the only devices with sufficiently high performance and
low power dissipation are in BGA: I use 1/4 of the power using the new
highly integrated, high performance devices (running at a fraction of their
maximum speed) compared to older non-BGA devices that I've looked at. It be
a big de-scope of design to change this functionality.

Thanks again, and 73, Howard G6LVB
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