The life-prediction modeling of an electronic package requires a sequence of critical assumptions concerning the finite element models. The solder structures accommodate the bulk of the plastic strain that is generated during accelerated temperature cycling due to the thermal expansion mismatch between the various materials that constitute the package. Finite element analysis is extensively used for simulating the effect of accelerated temperature cycling on electronic packages. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed to improve the current FEM models. One of the limitations inherent to the presently available models is the accuracy in property values of eutectic 63Sn/37Pb solder or other solder materials (i.e. 62Sn/36Pb/2Ag). Life prediction methodologies for high temperature solders (90Pb/10Sn, 95Pb/5Sn, etc.) or lead-free based inter-connects materials, are almost non-existent due to their low volume use or relative infancy. [1] Another major limitation for the models presently available is excluding the effect of intermetallic compound (Cu6Sn5, Cu3Sn) formation and growth between solder joint and Cu pad due to the reflow processes, rework and during the thermal aging. The mechanical reliability of these intermetallic compounds clearly influences the mechanical integrity of the interconnection. The brittle failures of solder balls have been identified with the growth of a number of intermetallic compounds both at the interfaces between metallic layers and in the bulk solder balls. In this paper, the effect of intermetallic compound in fatigue life prediction using finite element modeling is described. A Chip Scale Package 3D Quarter model is chosen to do the FE analysis. Accelerated temperature cycling is performed to obtain the plastic work due to thermal expansion mismatch between the various materials. Solder joint fatigue life prediction methodologies were incorporated so that finite element simulation results were translated into estimated cycles to failure. The results are compared with conventional models that do not include intermetallic effects. Conventionally available material properties are assumed for the eutectic 63Sn/37Pb solder and the intermetallic material properties. The importance of including intermetallic effect in finite element modeling will be discussed.

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