The effect of a heat spreader on the life of the solder joints for underfill-encapsulated, flip-chip packages is investigated through stress analyses and thermal cycling tests. An underfill with suitable mechanical properties is found to be able to prolong the fatigue life of the solder joints even in a package with a heat spreader and an alumina substrate. The delamination of the underfill from the chip is revealed as another critical failure mode for which the shape of the underfill fillet has a large effect.

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