The Journal of Industry and Technology

Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

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Understanding PCB design & material
warpage challenges - Learn more at SMTAI

Akrometrix, LLC, the leading provider of thermal warpage and strain metrology equipment to both the front- and back-end semiconductor and electronics industries, today announced that Ryan Curry, Technical Account Manager, will co-present a paper with Don Adams, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at Bose Corporation, during SMTA International. The presentation, "Understanding PCB Design and Material Warpage Challenges Which Occur during B2B/Module-Carrier Attachment," is scheduled to take place during session APT7, "Package and PCB Interactions," on Wednesday, September 28th at 4 p.m.

PCB warpage has been identified as one of several key contributors to unacceptable yield rates during reflow assembly of a PCB module to a PCB carrier board. The module has a land grid array pattern and is placed directly on solder paste on the carrier board. This results in low-profile solder joints that are sensitive to the co-planarity of both the module and the carrier boards. The typical failure mode occurs when one or more solder joint opens are caused by a lifted corner of the module during/after reflow.

This paper and presentation will present graphical and statistical details of at-room-temperature metrology on a large sample of modules with differing design variables. Shadow Moiré technique will be used to provide accurate warpage profiles of the 6-up module arrays before and after top- and bottom-side assembly, and again before and after attachment to the carrier board.  A large volume of samples will be tested in order to gain statistical relevance of the data and correlate any yield problems to initial warpage. The objective is to isolate the key design parameter(s) that contribute most to attachment problems while also observing and reporting on the at-temperature warpage behavior of the substrates during reflow.

Curry is the Technical Account Manager at Akrometrix, having shifted to this role after almost 11 years of experience as a Test and Applications Engineer. He is a subject matter expert in at temperature warpage and strain measurement techniques. Curry has experience with frequent use of Akrometrix measurement tools for contract testing services and demonstration work, along with domestic and international customer support, technical sales, outgoing system quality assurance, software and NPI development work, and Akrometrix system installation and user training. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technolo

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Automated Die Attach Tilt Metrology

Akrometrix LLC has developed an automated die-board (or daughter-mother board) attach tilt metrology. All Akrometrix shadow moiré or DFP systems (AXPs) can be upgraded with the new feature.

As die, components or daughter boards become thinner, their geometric relationship to their mounting board - before and after solder reflow - is important to ensure full connectivity exists and to prevent pre-mature failures. Once these components have undergone the reflow process, it is imperative that a flat and full connection is achieved to ensure these two separate and often different types of materials are properly mated.

Akrometrix's AXP warpage measurement systems, using both shadow moiré and digital fringe projection (DFP) have a new feature that allows users to measure the tilt angle of the bottom substrate to a mounted die/component/daughter board. Often called "die-tilt" or "die attach tilt", Akrometrix has embedded this feature into its existing software platform (Studio) to allow customers to automatically measure both warpage metrology and die attach tilt metrology on a wide variety of substrates, eliminating the human or manual/subjective measurement commonly done today. These measurements can be conducted pre-reflow at various temperature profiles during reflow and during reflow cooldown to examine the effects that die placement and temperature have on the mating angle. Complete measurement of warpage and die attach tilt takes less than two seconds per measurement point along the temperature profile to complete.

"Akrometrix's Shadow Moiré systems have become the industry standard for warpage measurement, especially at temperature," noted Mayson Brooks, Akrometrix's President and CEO. "With the addition of our die attach tilt metrology, we have further expanded our capabilities to provide a truly expandable platform for a wide range of measurement needs.  Being able to measure both warpage and die attach tilt on the same equipment increases the capabilities of our AXP as customers want to have equipment sets that are multi-functional and a higher return on investment."

Akrometrix LLC in profile
Akrometrix LLC, the leader in elevated temperature surface characterization, was founded in 1993 by Dr. Charles Ume, a Professor and Director of the Advanced Electronic Packaging and Laser Processing Laboratory, at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.  Headquartered in Atlanta, Akrometrix supports over 250 equipment installations worldwide.

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