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One of the biggest challenges facing PCB designers is not understanding the cost drivers in the PCB manufacturing process. This article is the latest in a series that will discuss these cost drivers (from the PCB manufacturer’s perspective) and the design decisions that will impact product reliability.
Final finishes provide a surface for the component assembler to solder, wire bond, or conductively attach a component pad or lead to a pad, hole, or area of a PCB. The other use for a final finish is to provide a known contact resistance and life cycle for connectors, keys, or switches. The primary purpose of a final finish is to create electrical and thermal continuity with a surface of the PCB.
There are several final finishes in use in the industry today. These include:
- ENIG (electroless nickel, immersion gold)
- ENIPIG (electroless nickel, immersion palladium, immersion gold)
- ENEPIG (electroless nickel, electroless palladium, immersion gold)
- ImmAg (immersion silver)
- ImmSn (immersion tin)
- Sulfamate nickel/hard or soft gold (electrolytic nickel/gold)
- HASL (hot air solder leveling)
- SnPb (63/37 tin/lead)
- LF (lead-free)
- OSP (organic solderability preservative)
Final finishes are primarily application driven, so there are several considerations that should be part of any decision to choose a final finish:
- Lead-tolerant or lead-free (LF) process
- Shelf life
- Lead or ball pitch
- Wire bondability
- Lead insertion
- Solder joint integrity
- Corrosion resistance
- Potential problems
To read this entire article, which appeared in the December 2022 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.