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A printed circuit board is a complex mechanism that runs an electronic device. Without it, the device simply wouldn’t work. There are so many important parts of a PCB that it can be difficult to understand how it operates. Let’s look at different parts of a PCB to understand what it is and why it’s there.

A BGA (ball grid array) is a decedent of a PGA (pin grid array), which is part of the complex maze of circuitry on a PCB. PCB manufacturers use BGA to package those integral components onto the board, or the substrate. Metal balls made from solder attach to the laminated underside of the board to hold the components together. The BGA must get soldered to secure the components to the board.

The pins go in a grid pattern on the board. They conduct electrical signals between all the integrated circuits on the PCB. The small solder balls you see on the substrate are the BGAs.

BGA vs PGA

Before a BGA, manufacturers used a pin grid array (PGA). PGAs are a square arrangement of metallic pins that insert into a complementary hole on the circuit board, which mounts the components. The main difference between a BGA and a PGA is that the BGA uses solder instead of metal and goes in a grid pattern instead of a square arrangement like the PGA. Whether you use a PGA or a BGA, both must get soldered to secure the components to the board.

One of the biggest benefits of using BGA over PGA is needing fewer pins to do the same amount of work. With PGAs, you needed more and more pins, which decreased the space between them. This caused difficulties when soldering and increased the chance of bridging adjacent pins with the solder, which can cause many issues to the PCB.

BGAs can be installed either manually or with a machine. They are held together with a tacky flux before being heated to melt the balls. The surface tension on the board makes the molten solder hold the aligned packaged with the board until the solder cools and solidifies. Once solidified, the solder forms the connection between the device and PCB.

Advantages of BGA

High Density

The introduction of using BGAs solved a major problem for manufacturers and the packaging process. Previously, with using PGAs, you would need multiple pins which reduced the amount of available space for the packaging process.

By switching to BGA and using solder balls, they increase the efficiency of the device and require fewer solder balls to do the same amount of work as more PGAs. BGAs reduce the amount of space a component occupies, which in turn increases the efficiency of the packing process and reduced the PCB manufacturing turnaround time.

Heat Conduction

There is a lower thermal resistance between BGA packaging and the PCB. The heat can move more freely between the circuits which results in better heat dissipation across the whole circuit board. When that happens, it reduces the chance of the PCB overheating and getting damaged.

Easy Packaging

The packaging process is fairly simple with BGAs. Using machinery to place the solder balls, you can have a more precise connection. Not only that, but since the packaging is solder balls, you can use the ball itself to solder the packaging to the PCB. Basically, the solder balls self-align during the mounting process. Because of this, and only needing heat to adhere to the PCB, BGAs reduce the chance of damaging the components and the board itself.

Lower Cost

The numerous advantages of using BGAs result in lower manufacturing costs and savings to the customer. You need fewer BGAs to do the same work as PGAs, since BGAs use the space efficiently, effectively, and have a high interconnection density. The decrease in thermal resistance increases the quality and performance of all electrical components on the PCB.

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The Candor Benefit

By going with Candor for all of your PCB manufacturing needs, you get the benefits of high-quality products, services, and constant communication. By using BGAs to package your PCB, you gain all of the advantages listed above, all which ensure your PCB functions at a high level.

Contact us today to request a quote on designing and manufacturing your PCB. Our quick turn around times will have you in and out with your new PCB as quickly as possible.

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