Land Grid Array (LGA) is a type of electronic packaging technology used in computer processors and other high-performance integrated circuits. Land Grid Array packages are designed to connect the integrated circuit to the motherboard or printed circuit board (PCB) using an array of small lands or pads on the underside of the chip. These lands or pads are arranged in a grid pattern and are used to make electrical connections between the chip and the circuit board.
LGA technology offers several advantages over older packaging technologies, including higher pin density, improved electrical performance, better thermal management, and a smaller form factor.
What is LGA in PCB?
LGA (Land Grid Array) is a type of surface-mount package used for integrated circuits (ICs) and electronic components on a printed circuit board (PCB). In an LGA, the IC has metallic pads on the bottom (instead of leads) that connect to corresponding pads on the PCB. This allows for a larger number of connections and better thermal performance compared to other types of PCB packages. LGA sockets are commonly used in desktop computer processors such as Intel Core i7/i9 and AMD Ryzen.
What is a land grid array used for?
A land grid array (LGA) is a type of electronic packaging technology used for mounting and interconnecting microprocessors, CPU, and other electronic components on a printed circuit board (PCB). It consists of a grid of pads or lands on the underside of the microprocessor that directly contact corresponding contacts on the PCB without requiring pins or other connectors.
The LGA design offers several advantages over other packaging technologies, including improved electrical performance, increased reliability, and reduced manufacturing costs. LGA is commonly used in high-performance computing, servers, and embedded systems applications.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of land grid array?
- Advantages of land grid array (LGA):
1. Better thermal performance: LGA packages provide better heat dissipation, which helps to reduce the overall temperature of the device.
2. Enhanced electrical performance: Due to its updated design and micro architecture, land grid array can offer superior power distribution compared to other packaging solutions.
3. Improved mechanical properties: Since there are no pins on land grid array, they are less prone to bending or breaking during installation or handling.
4. Higher pin density: The reduced pitch between pins allows for more contact points, increasing the number of connections that can be made with the PCB.
- Disadvantages of land grid array (LGA):
1. Soldering difficulties: Due to the lower visibility of the soldered area and high level of complexity, land grid array assembly machinery is usually much more expensive than those used for other packaging types.
2. Sensitivity to board warpage and contamination: land grid arrays require a flat surface to connect properly,
making them more sensitive to any potential sources of distortion or vibration-induced stress like
uneven boards or shock damage.
3. Reliability concerns: Although land grid arrays (LGA) generally have fewer problems with connection loosening over time, the closer spacing does increase the risk of short circuits and other manufacturing defects.
4. Quality control challenges: Manufacturing process costs for an LGA package can be much higher than those for alternative packaging designs because of their strict design tolerances.
What the features of LGA?
1. Higher density of pins: Land grid array (LGA) sockets have a higher density of pins compared to their predecessors, which leads to smaller and more compact overall designs.
2. Lower profile: LGA chips are usually lower than other types due to their location further down on the motherboard.
3. Improved thermal performance: LGA aids in better heat dissipation by allowing direct attachment of heat sinks/fans onto the chip surface leading to lower operating temperatures.
4. Reduced mechanical stress: The use of land grid array connectors eliminates the need for applying any force
or pressure while inserting or removing devices, reducing mechanical strains/ stresses on circuit boards.
5. Easier to manufacture: Unlike through-hole mounting, which requires drilling holes on PCBs during PCB assembly, land grid array mounted circuits can be mounted using automatic placement machines, making them much more efficient and less time-consuming.
6. Reduced interconnect issues: By having more and shorter interconnects land grid array (LGA) reduces signal propagation delay caused by capacitance-inductance parasitics that increase noise & reduce effective bandwidth.
7. High reliability: land grid array does not require soldering of individual pins but instead, relies on full contact between the lid and CPU ensuring close tolerances, superior design quality control, and fewer manufacturing defects.
8. Increased security: With improved connections, it is difficult for unauthorized devices to make contact with the CPU. So it becomes easier to protect software from tampering and hacking attempts.
What is LGA packaging process?
The LGA (Land Grid Array) packaging process is a method of manufacturing integrated circuits in which the device’s pins are arranged in a rectangular array on the bottom surface of the chip. The land grid array package itself consists of a square or rectangular plastic or ceramic body with a grid of conductive pads on its underside that match up with the pins on the chip.
1. Die preparation: This step involves separating the individual chips from a common wafer and encapsulating them in a protective material.
2. Solder ball deposition: After being prepared, the chip is placed face-down on a substrate and coated with a layer of tiny solder balls using a stencil printing technique.
3. Reflow soldering: In this step, the entire assembly is heated to a high temperature so that the solder balls melt and form connections between the chip’s contact pads and the substrate’s corresponding pads.
4. PCB Cleaning: Finally, the parts are cleaned to remove any residue left over from the PCB soldering process.
What is the difference between pin grid array and land grid array?
Pin Grid Array (PGA) and Land Grid Array (LGA) are two types of packaging for microprocessors.
In PGA, the pins are arranged in a grid pattern on the underside of the processor. They extend down into the socket and connect directly to the motherboard. Examples of PGA include Intel Pentium processors.
In LGA, the contacts that connect to the motherboard are placed on the surface of the processor, forming an array of lands or pads that line up with matching pads on the motherboard socket. The contact points protrude from the chip itself instead of being situated on the substrate. Examples of LGA: include Intel Xeon and AMD Athlon processors.
The main difference between PGA and LGA is the way their contacts make electrical connections with the motherboard. In PGA, the pins are pushed into holes in the socket, while in LGA, the pads press down onto conductive pads on the motherboard’s surface. This makes LGA more reliable as there is less chance of bent pins during installation and removal, but they also tend to be more expensive.
How to solder the LGA package?
1. Prepare the PCB: Ensure that the PCB pads are clean and free from any contaminants or oxidation. Apply flux to the pads to improve the wetting of the solder.
2. Inspection: After soldering, inspect the joints using visual or X-ray inspection to ensure that there are no defects or anomalies.
3. Cleaning: Clean the PCB and LGA package to remove any flux residue or contaminants.
4. Let the solder cool and solidify properly at room temperature.
5. Inspect visually for any defects and make necessary repairs if needed.
6. Test the connection by applying power to the PCB.
7. If everything works fine, clean up excess flux residue using a cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol.
What are the common LGA soldering problems and solutions?
1. Insufficient Solder: This occurs when there is not enough solder on the pad causing poor electrical contact. The solution to this would be to ensure the right amount of solder paste is applied.
2. Bridging: When there is too much solder and it flows between the pads while reflowing, resulting in short-circuiting adjacent pins. Using a smaller aperture printing tool can help prevent this.
3. Tomb-stoning: This happens when one end of a component lifts off the PCB. It’s usually caused by uneven heating during reflow. A proper oven setup with evenly distributed heat can help solve this problem.
4. Head-on-pillow (HOP): This occurs when the component sits at an angle due to insufficient reflow of one pad leaving the other pad seen as a ‘pillow’. Reducing the ramp rate or increasing soak time can prevent this from happening.
5. Pitting: These are small holes found on the top surface of balls that may occur because of high-temperature exposure or hydrogen concentration issues. Snapper QFN packages and OSP finish reduce degassing effect thereby resolving pitting.
6. Non-wet open (NWO): This type of defect occurs when the ball does not coalesce onto the pad, forming a connection after the molten solder has cooled down. Steps taken towards eliminating outgassing, e.g. increasing preheat temperature will resolve NWO.
What are the precautions of LGA design and assembly
1. PCB layout: The PCB layout should be designed to provide sufficient space and clearance for the land grid array (LGA) package, as well as to ensure that the signal and power traces are properly routed to avoid interference and PCB crosstalk.
2. Thermal management: LGA packages can generate a lot of heat, so it’s important to PCB design with proper thermal management, such as heat sinks, thermal vias, or other cooling methods.
3. Reflow profile: The reflow profile used to solder the LGA package should be carefully selected and monitored to ensure that the solder reflows properly without damaging the package or the PCB.
4. Inspection and testing: The solder joints should be carefully inspected and tested to ensure that they are properly formed and free of defects such as bridges, voids, or cold joints.
What inspections can be used for LGA?
1.Visual inspection: This involves examining the external and internal features of the LGA package, such as the solder joints, pads, leads, balls, bumps, alignment, cleanliness, and any defects or anomalies that may affect the performance or reliability of the package.
2. X-ray inspection: This involves using X-rays to inspect the internal structure and connectivity of the design package, such as the presence and quality of solder joints, ball-grid arrays, PCB via , traces, and any
defects or voids that may affect the electrical or thermal properties of the package.
3. Optical inspection: This involves using optical microscopy or imaging techniques to inspect the surface
and subsurface features of the LGA package, such as the shape, size, position, and orientation of the PCB pads, leads, balls, bumps, and any defects or cracks that may affect the mechanical or electrical properties of the package.
4. Electrical testing: This involves applying electrical signals or stimuli to the LGA package and measuring its response or output, such as the resistance, capacitance, inductance, impedance, frequency, voltage, current, or power consumption. This can help to verify the functionality and performance of the package and detect any faults or failures that may occur during operation.
5. Environmental testing: This involves subjecting the LGA package to various environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, vibration, shock, and thermal cycling. This can help to evaluate the durability and reliability of the package under different operating conditions and detect any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that may affect its long-term performance or lifespan.
What does Fclga mean?
There are several advantages of land grid array (LGA), including:
1. Better thermal performance
2. Enhanced electrical performance
3. Improved mechanical properties
4. Higher pin density