Book Reviews

ImageBy Robert Corbitt
McGraw Hill
10 chapters and glossary of terms

Adopting an environmental policy across a company or group without some kind of reference source is difficult. This book outlines the legislation currently in circulation along with detailed sections on air, water and solid waste. The book does not specifically relate to the electronics industry, but the issues are relevant to any company.

A couple of chapters have a heavy emphasis on North America. The sections on water collection and the changes that have been made over the past 20 years were fascinating. The author provides some detail on how the amount of wasted resources has decreased.

From a technical point of view, the methods used to monitor and measure levels of contamination in the environment are interesting and informative. The methods used to measure air, water and different forms of waste are detailed; the limits imposed in different countries and why those differences may have occurred are also interestingly examined.

Also contained in the book is a detailed glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations. The final chapter is devoted to project assessment and how to conduct an environmental study. The chapter makes a very good point on the use of consultants to assist in this area provided they have the relevant practical experience.

Structural Integrity and Reliability in Electronics - Enhancing Performance in a Lead-Free Environment
By W.J Plumbridge, R.J. Matela and Angus Westwater

ImageBy Howard Manko
McGraw Hill

This book is considered an engineering bible on soldering materials and processes. It was originally published in 1976 and now sees its fourth release with updates in a number of areas. The text has been updated, but where the changes have been made is not obvious. Much more of the book could have been updated, especially with regard to lead-free soldering and solders, selective soldering, flip chips, ball grid arrays (BGAs) and microBGAs.

If you need a good reference book on soldering, this book is one. However, I don‚t recommend this book if you are considering updating from the last edition. The updates provided don‚t justify an upgrade.

ImageBy John H Lau and Ricky Lee
McGraw Hill
560 pages, 12 chapters, illustrations and photographs

Lau and Lee have produced another timely textbook for the printed circuit board (PCB) industry, and it will useful for PCB design and fabrication engineers alike. The use of microvias of different styles has been growing in the industry for the last few years with many new techniques being used to fabricate ever-smaller connections. The team behind the relatively new Professional Engineering Series from McGraw Hill should be congratulated on yet another strong title.

The new text is not exclusively for the PCB fabrication engineer as its title may suggest; it covers via technology for board- and component-level interconnection. Increasingly, ball grid arrays (BGAs) and chip-scale packages (CSP) use microvias to make interconnection between the PCB and silicon possible. The first chapter sets the scene with industry trends and the ever-decreasing feature sizes demanded in professional consumer products.

In Chapter 3, Lau and Lee cover manufacturing, design and reliability aspects of each of the major via types, including drilled, laser ablation and photo vias. The text also provides good coverage of the basic PCB fabrication process and where changes may be necessary for different via manufacturing techniques. Of particular interest are the changes in base substrates necessary with laser vias.

As with many textbooks today, a chapter of this book relates to alternative solders, „Solders for the Next Generation.‰ A hot issue for engineers today is alternatives to lead-based alloys, which this chapter covers from a solder alloy prospective and from the effect on area array packages such as BGAs and wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSPs).

Chapter 11 covers the assembly process for flip chip and CSP onto the base substrate and features a number of issues relating to underfill. It illustrates some of the mechanical and electrical faults that occur after environmental testing and also illustrates visual defects and those that can only be found during x-ray or C scan.

This book is a good, strong reference, well illustrated with line drawings, micrographs and product examples.

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By Ning-Cheng Lee
270 pages, 12 chapters, illustrations and photographs
List Price: $79.99

Ning-Cheng Lee is an industry veteran and has, for many years, worked for Indium Corp. of America (Utica, NY). I have always liked his presentation style and technical articles. His writing is similar to a lab report—detailed information is given on a problem, ideas on combating the problem are offered, and a result and final conclusion finalize the work. The material is always practical, easy to implement and easy to understand.

Chapters cover major topics of traditional surface-mount technology: ball grid array (BGA), chip scale packaging (CSP) and flip chip. Lead-free assembly is also addressed. Ning-Cheng provides a very practical chapter on underfilling and issues relating to in-circuit test probing. Some material suppliers may suggest that since Indium manufactures such materials, the book is a great way to promote those products—that is not the case in the text.

The book is packed with good illustrations and photos. A reader may find some of the photos and x-ray photos confusing—some are not actual photos, but artist impressions. Perhaps the true images could not be obtained for inclusion in time for publication. Nevertheless, this issue does not detract from the value of the text in any way. Overall, it's a great book and well worth the cost.

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ImageBy John H. Lau
McGraw Hill
16 Chapters, 585 pages plus exhaustive references for each chapter

Another great book from the kitchen table of John Lau. Mr. Lau always acknowledges his wife and family in the foreword of his books. His daughter, I believe, has also contributed to book illustrations in the past‹what a team approach!

I have not had much practical experience with flip chip technology in the past. Recently, I have been involved with a couple of hands-on process projects. Flip chip is an interesting technology, and there is much to learn. Like Mr. Lau1s previous textbooks, there is a lot to be learned from each of the chapters, particularly the alternative bumping techniques. I feel sure that anyone can easily justify the book1s cost.

The chapters cover each of the major steps in the process and, of course, the economics of the process, as compared to other well-known chip on board techniques. The text is detailed and very easy to read and understand for a beginner. The formulae in some of the sections are a little heavy, but each of the chapters is well illustrated, which makes the book very understandable and enjoyable.

As one reads through the chapters, it1s easy to see the many contributions that IBM has made to flip chip technology. IBM was practicing this technology in the 1960s and, for some reason, many companies have taken over three decades to consider the use of this technology. The chapters on underfill materials are very useful and Mr. Lau helps the reader understand the materials and their applications.

The problems of moisture in solder mask, on the basic board, did not seem to be addressed. Moisture has been shown to cause voiding in underfills during curing and final cure. Selecting the correct materials can reduce the problem.

Chapter 16 covers failure analysis, a subject dear to my heart, and this practical look at techniques used to find the root cause of failures is well illustrated with practical examples. As with any new processes, insight into the ways to reduce false starts is an asset.

A detailed chapter on the assembly process, as a whole, is missing from this book. Such a chapter would have made the use of flip chip still more approachable to engineers.

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