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Side Wettable Flanks For Leadless Automotive Packaging

Side-wettable flanks can help make solder fillets detectable using AOI, increasing throughput for the surface mount technology processes.

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The MicroLeadFrame (MLF)/Quad Flat No-Lead (QFN) packaging solution is extremely popular in the semiconductor industry. It is used in applications ranging from consumer electronics and communications to those requiring high reliability performance, such as the automotive industry. The wide acceptance of this packaging design is primarily due to its flexible form factors, size, scalability and thermal dissipation capabilities. The adaptation and acceptance of MLF/QFN packages in automotive high reliability applications has led to the development of materials and processes that have extended its capabilities to meet the performance and quality requirements. One of process developments that is enabling the success of the MLF/QFN within the automotive industry has been the innovation of side wettable flanks that provide the capability to inspect the package lead to printed circuit board (PCB) interfaces for reliable solder joints.

Traditionally, through-board X-ray was the accepted method for detecting reliable solder joints for leadless packages. However, as PBC layer counts and routing complexities have increased, this method to detect wellformed solder fillets has proven ineffective and incapable of meeting the inspection requirements. To support increased reliability and more accurate inspection of the leadless package solder joints, processes to form side-wettable flanks have been developed. These processes enable the formation of solder fillets that are detectable using state-of-the-art automated optical inspection (AOI) equipment, providing increased throughput for the surface mount technology (SMT) processes and improved quality as well.

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