Skip to Main Content
Ball grid array (BGA) package styles use solder balls as electrical interconnects between packages and application boards. Solder balls are rigid and tend to fracture under thermal fatigue and/or shock loading. Metalized polymer spheres (MPS) offer a more compliant interconnect, compared to solder balls, thereby increasing the thermal cycling fatigue life. A reduction in thermal and electrical performance may be expected for MPS interconnects as a result of its higher thermal and electrical resistances. A 5% and an 8% increase in MPS thermal resistance was measured for a carrier array ball grid array (CABGA) package and a plastic ball grid array (PBGA) package, respectively, compared to eutectic solder balls. However, this small reduction was offset by large gains in the solder joint life. A 1.6 times increase in the mean thermal fatigue life was measured for a CABGA using MPS interconnects compared to eutectic solder balls. A first-order model showed that eutectic solder balls provide greater process margins, compared to MPS interconnects, due to the ball collapse during reflow.