Skyworks Solutions has filed a patent for a method and system to replace solder balls in electronic packages. The method involves heating and removing the existing solder balls, placing replacement solder balls on corresponding seats, and then heating the array to form metallurgical bonds. The system includes heater assemblies, a solder removal tool, and a mask with apertures for locating replacement solder balls. GlobalData’s report on Skyworks Solutions gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Skyworks Solutions, uunder-screen biometric identification was a key innovation area identified from patents. Skyworks Solutions's grant share as of September 2023 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method and system for replacing solder balls on electronic package

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Skyworks Solutions Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230317473A1) describes a system for replacing solder balls in an electronic package. The system includes a first heater assembly that collectively heats the array of solder balls to melt them. A solder removal tool then applies suction to each melted solder ball to remove it from its corresponding seat. A mask with an array of apertures is positioned over the electronic package, aligning with the array of seats. Each aperture receives a replacement solder ball, which is then heated and reflowed by a second heater assembly to form a metallurgical bond with the seats.

The system also includes an oven for baking the electronic package in a preliminary heating step. The oven bakes the package for a predetermined minimum time period of either 3.5 hours, 4 hours, or 4.5 hours at a temperature of at least 110 degrees Celsius, 115 degrees Celsius, 120 degrees Celsius, or 125 degrees Celsius.

Additionally, the system incorporates a fluxing assembly that selectively applies a water-soluble fluxing agent to the electronic package. The fluxing assembly includes a reservoir of the fluxing agent and a hollow needle for application. The hollow needle has an arcuate profile and is crimp-free, with a tip that deviates from the base by an acute angle ranging from 15 to 45 degrees.

The first heater assembly, known as a hot plate assembly, can be heated to a predetermined temperature of at least 250° C., 260° C., 270° C., 280° C., 290° C., or 300° C. A clamping assembly is also included to hold the electronic package in a predetermined orientation during the solder replacement process.

The solder removal tool consists of a hollow needle coupled to a suction source. The needle generates suction at its tip and can be heated. Similar to the fluxing assembly, the hollow needle has an arcuate profile and is crimp-free, with a tip that deviates from the base by an acute angle ranging from 15 to 45 degrees.

The mask used in the system has uniform-sized apertures and a perimeter wall with an opening for the passage of solder balls. It also includes a substantially planar plate with the array of apertures and a peripheral region coupled to the perimeter wall.

The patent also describes an assembly for locating solder balls onto an array of seats. This assembly includes a mask with an array of apertures and a holder with a retention region for the electronic package. The mask is positioned over the holder, aligning the apertures with the retention region.

Overall, this patent presents a system and assembly for efficiently replacing solder balls in electronic packages, providing a detailed description of the various components and their functions.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.