What is BGA Reballing?

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Understanding BGA Packages

What is a BGA Package?

A BGA package is a type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits (ICs) that utilizes an array of solder balls on the bottom of the package to establish electrical connections between the IC and the PCB. The solder balls are arranged in a grid pattern, hence the name “Ball Grid Array.”

Advantages of BGA Packages

BGA packages offer several advantages over other packaging techniques:

  1. Compact size: BGA packages allow for a high density of interconnections in a small footprint, enabling the miniaturization of electronic devices.
  2. Improved electrical performance: The short distance between the IC and the PCB reduces signal distortion and improves signal integrity.
  3. Enhanced thermal performance: The grid array of solder balls provides efficient heat dissipation from the IC to the PCB.

Common Issues with BGA Packages

Despite their advantages, BGA packages are susceptible to various issues that may require reballing:

  1. Solder joint failure: Thermal stress, mechanical stress, or manufacturing defects can cause solder joints to crack or fail, leading to intermittent or complete loss of connection.
  2. Warping or delamination: Exposure to extreme temperatures or moisture can cause the BGA package or PCB to warp or delaminate, affecting the solder joint integrity.
  3. Contamination: Contamination of the solder balls or pads can prevent proper bonding and cause connection issues.

The BGA Reballing Process

Step 1: Removal of the Defective BGA Component

The first step in BGA reballing is to remove the defective BGA component from the PCB. This is typically done using a hot air rework station or an infrared (IR) rework system. The heat is applied to the solder balls until they melt, allowing the component to be lifted off the board.

Step 2: Cleaning the PCB and BGA Component

After removing the BGA component, the PCB and the component itself must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any remaining solder, flux residue, or contaminants. This is usually done using a soldering iron, solder wick, and cleaning solvents.

Step 3: Applying Solder Paste or Flux

Once the PCB and BGA component are clean, a thin layer of solder paste or flux is applied to the pads on the PCB and/or the solder ball locations on the BGA component. This helps to ensure proper bonding during the reflow process.

Step 4: Placing New Solder Balls

Next, new solder balls are placed onto the BGA component using a reballing stencil or a manual placement tool. The size and composition of the solder balls must match the original specifications of the component.

Step 5: Reflowing the Solder Balls

The BGA component with the new solder balls is then placed onto the PCB, and the entire assembly is subjected to a reflow process using a reflow oven or a hot air rework station. During reflow, the solder balls melt and form a strong bond between the component and the PCB.

Step 6: Inspection and Testing

After the reflow process, the reassembled device undergoes visual inspection and functional testing to ensure proper connection and performance. X-ray inspection may also be used to verify the integrity of the solder joints.

Challenges and Considerations in BGA Reballing

Choosing the Right Solder Ball Size and Composition

Selecting the appropriate solder ball size and composition is crucial for successful BGA reballing. The size of the solder balls must match the original component specifications to ensure proper fit and connection. The composition of the solder balls should also be considered, as different alloys have varying melting points, strength, and durability.

Solder Ball Diameter (mm) Common Applications
0.30 Mobile devices, wearables
0.40 Laptops, tablets
0.50 Desktop computers, servers
0.76 High-power applications

Maintaining Proper Alignment and Placement

Accurate alignment and placement of the BGA component on the PCB are essential for successful reballing. Misalignment can lead to poor connections, shorts, or even damage to the component or PCB. Specialized reballing tools, such as alignment fixtures and placement systems, can help ensure precise positioning.

Controlling Temperature and Time During Reflow

The reflow process requires careful control of temperature and time to achieve optimal solder joint formation without damaging the components. The reflow profile must be tailored to the specific solder ball composition and the thermal characteristics of the BGA component and PCB. Excessive heat or prolonged exposure can cause warping, delamination, or other damage.

Handling Moisture-Sensitive Devices

Many BGA components are moisture-sensitive devices (MSDs) that require special handling to prevent moisture-induced damage during reflow. Proper storage, baking, and handling procedures must be followed to ensure the integrity of the components during the reballing process.

Benefits of BGA Reballing

Cost Savings Compared to Component Replacement

BGA reballing can be a cost-effective alternative to replacing an entire BGA component or PCB Assembly. By repairing the solder connections, the original component can be salvaged, reducing the need for expensive replacements.

Improved Reliability and Longevity

When performed correctly, BGA reballing can restore the reliability and longevity of the repaired device. By addressing solder joint issues and ensuring proper bonding, reballing can prevent future connection problems and extend the life of the electronic device.

Reduced Environmental Impact

Reballing allows for the reuse of existing components, reducing electronic waste and the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new components. By extending the life of electronic devices, reballing contributes to a more sustainable approach to electronics repair and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can all BGA components be reballed?

Most BGA components can be reballed, provided that the component and PCB are not severely damaged and the solder pads are intact. However, some advanced packages, such as Package-on-Package (PoP) or System-in-Package (SiP), may require specialized reballing techniques or may not be suitable for reballing.

2. How long does the BGA reballing process take?

The duration of the BGA reballing process varies depending on the complexity of the component, the extent of the damage, and the skill of the technician. On average, reballing a single BGA component can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

3. Is BGA reballing a permanent solution?

When performed correctly, BGA reballing can be a permanent solution to solder joint issues. However, the longevity of the repair depends on various factors, such as the quality of the reballing process, the operating conditions of the device, and the occurrence of future stresses or damage.

4. Can I perform BGA reballing myself?

BGA reballing requires specialized equipment, skills, and knowledge. While it is possible for individuals to learn and perform reballing, it is generally recommended to entrust the process to experienced professionals to ensure the best results and minimize the risk of further damage.

5. How much does BGA reballing cost?

The cost of BGA reballing varies depending on the service provider, the complexity of the component, and the location. On average, professional BGA reballing services can range from $50 to $200 or more per component. However, the cost of reballing is often significantly lower than replacing the entire component or PCB assembly.


BGA reballing is a sophisticated process that requires expertise, precision, and specialized equipment to effectively repair damaged or defective BGA components. By understanding the principles behind BGA packages, the reballing process, and the challenges and considerations involved, electronic industry professionals can make informed decisions when addressing BGA-related issues.

While BGA reballing can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to extend the life of electronic devices, it is essential to carefully evaluate the feasibility and potential risks associated with each case. As technology continues to evolve and BGA packages become increasingly complex, staying up-to-date with the latest reballing techniques and best practices will be crucial for success in the electronics repair and maintenance industry.