Flat-pads enhance PCB reliability

To reduce or eliminate PCB assembly and reliability issues, US-based DDi has developed what it is calling its ‘Flat-Pad’ solution.

For several years, ongoing industry trends toward finer pitch and higher pin-count ball-grid array (BGA) devices have stretched the limits of current PCB assembly technology, raising concerns about long-term PCBA reliability. To reduce or eliminate these assembly and reliability issues, US-based DDi has developed what it is calling its ‘Flat-Pad’ solution.

Unlike traditional laser-formed microvia approaches, DDi’s proprietary Flat-Pad technology results in a completely flat BGA component pad surface. This not only supports the current industry thrust toward Via-in-Pad (VIP) design, but also widens the process window for PCB assembly and improves final yield.

‘We believe that Flat-Pad delivers the original promise of Via-in-Pad by eliminating the need for additional or standoff via pads and opens up wiring channels in complex board designs, but with improved board routability, reliability and signal integrity in high-speed PCB applications,’ said Ddi’s Chief Executive Officer Bruce McMaster.

‘If the Flat-Pad concept lives up to its full potential, it will be a real winner,’ commented Matt LaRont, Director of PCB Global Supply Base Management for Solectron Corporation.

‘It has near-term potential to eliminate or minimise the current industry challenge with solder voids, which our Technology Centre laboratory testing indicates is caused by conventional microvia approaches. It will also help meet future challenges posed by next-generation silicon devices with still higher pin counts and denser footprints,’ he added.

Ddi has filed to patent its newly developed ‘Flat-Pad’ technology for High Density Interconnect PCB applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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