Tips & Tricks: BGA Inspection with X-ray The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

When a BGA is installed on a circuit board in a factory, it is visually checked for proper alignment. If it passes this simple test some might assume all is well. In this video, we examine how even a board that passes a cursory exam can still be terribly flawed. Because the BGA is a bottom terminating component, examination for quality of the connection cannot be seen with the naked eye. To make sure there is a good connection between the BGA and the board, an x-ray is necessary. Today we used our TruView Fusion to get the best view by examining the component at a 45 degree angle, an oblique view that we call 2.5D. This process allows us to identify any problems with better depth. Kind of like 3D. What we discovered was worse than we thought. In fact, it was a perfect example of a terribly imperfect board, that demonstrates how bad the hidden problems can be. A list of these issues included evidence of poor solder stenciling that resulted in voids, shorts, and opens. Closer examination revealed solder spatter and problems that can contribute to component failure. We were so excited to discover these issues because it exemplifies all the possible flaws in a single BGA. Or, as we like to say, the absolute best example of the absolutely worst board we have ever x-rayed. Once again, this demonstrates the extreme importance of x-ray and quality control to avoid component failure. To paraphrase Murphy’s Law, if anything can go wrong, it will – unless you use an x-ray to make sure it doesn’t.

We wrote the complete guide for the x-ray inspection of BGAs. Contact us today to get your free copy!

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