Ball Grid Array Sockets

Written by Jarret Ewanek
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In recent years ball grid array sockets have been used in aerospace engineering and other highly specialized applications. These sockets are designed to handle a great deal of heat and environmental pressure during space missions. There are a number of different BGA sockets that have qualified for use in NASA missions. These sockets have met with the highest possible standards and testing methods.

In the past, NASA missions relied on leaded packages to mount the printed circuit board to pins and other contacts. Scientists are now turning to BGA packages because they provide higher rates of thermal resistance. This resistance helps to ensure that there is no slippage during higher temperature applications. This is especially important for space missions where exploration, development and human lives are on the line.

Options in BGA Packages

There are a number of different types of ball grid array packages. The two most popular are plastic and ceramic ball grid array. The ceramic variety uses solder balls that melt at higher temperatures. Some companies also use column gird array packages, which feature columns instead of balls. You can also opt for flip chip BGA packages, which provide internal balls and flip chip die.

Plastic BGA packages are the preferred choice for NASA's longer missions. The plastic components hold up to heat for longer periods of time, and provide greater resistance. According to a recent NASA study, "plastic packages may be the only choice that show good resistance to thermal cycling." Many companies are drawn to BGA packages for their higher pin counts, faster circuitry speeds, and excellent heat dissipation.

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