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March 2007

Greetings! from Chicago where it has been a cold and snowy winter in the month of February.
in this issue
In this issue we discuss:
A Soldering Tip video on how to maintain soldering tips
An SMT glossary for the training of your employees
Information on a new throughole repair kit
A peak at High-k transistor fabrication technology

We look forwarding to hearing from you-give us a call in order to discuss your PCB rework and repair issues.
Bob Wettermann BEST Inc.
 
Soldering Tip Maintenance

We invite you to view our Soldering Tip video on soldering tip maintenance by visiting www.solder.net. Review this important tip with one of the BEST instructors to help insure the longest possible tip life. This is especially critical for those using the more aggressive fluxes found in lead-free processing.
Here's a quick summary of the do's and don'ts' of soldering tip maintenance:

Do: * Clean the tip on a clean damp sponge * Use sulfur-free sponges and de-ionized water * Turn the system off when not in use * Tin tips with solder when finished * Use a brass brush to clean heavily oxidized tips * Change tips with the cartridge removal pad * Use the least amount of flux necessary * Treat tips with care

Don't: * Use a dry sponge, rag or an abrasive to clean tips * Use household sponges * Leave the system running after you have finished * Put tips away dirty and untinned * Feed solder to the tip

 
BEST Launches the ThroughHole Repair Kit

Through-holes or vias can be damaged in the handling of PCB's or through the improper removal of a device. The BEST Through-hole Repair Kit can assist in the repair of these through-holes to make them look like the original circuit board.

BEST Through-hole repair kits are designed by artisans who have been repairing circuit boards for many years. This kit includes a large number of flat flange eyelets in a good variety of sizes, which are recommended when a low profile or clearance factor is required. The swage tool base and fixture allow for easy replacement of these eyelets. Professional stainless steel tweezers grab and hold the eyelets while you are replacing or repairing plated through-holes making the repair process simpler.

BEST Inc. PCB repair artisans have been involved in board level repair for a combined 60 plus years. In addition, several BEST Inc. staff members have been teaching and contributing to the procedures found in the IPC "7721 Repair and Modification of Printed Boards and Assemblies". This combined experience is capture through a series of "how to" slides which will guide you through the actual repair procedures.

Call Katy Radcliff on (847) 797-9250 on extension X33 for more information.

SMT Terms and Definitions

If you are looking for a definitive source on SMT terms and definitions for the training of your personnel check out BEST's compilation of SMT terms.

 
High-k Materials Leads to Future Higher Chip Density

Recently Intel and IBM both announced that they had figured out a way to further shrink the size of transistors. The trick, according to Intel, is introducing the metal hafnium into the mix�an addition that marks the first major change in transistor materials in four decades. Hafnium-based computer circuits would likely be denser, faster and consume less power than existing microprocessors.

Although the companies have yet to release design details, experts were able to make some informed guesses about their inner workings and the challenges in manufacturing them.
Intel's demonstration consisted of a hafnium-based microprocessor capable of running three different computer operating systems. In its transistors, hafnium oxide plays the role of the so-called gate dielectric, an insulating layer that separates the transistor's electrode from its silicon channel for carrying current. A voltage emanating from the electrode switches the transistor on or off by controlling the flow of electrons across that channel. The key is making the insulator as thin as possible in order to switch the channel faster and pack more transistors onto a chip.
Over the past decade, microchip makers had increasingly bumped up against a fundamental problem: electricity would begin leaking from the glasslike silicon dioxide insulating layer as its width shrank to nearly a nanometer. Consequently, the transistors required inordinate amounts of power.
To overcome this obstacle, chipmakers had to determine how to replace silicon dioxide with so-called high-k materials like hafnium and zirconium. A material's performance as a gate dielectric depends on its thickness and its k-value, or dielectric constant, which reflects its ability to store a charge. Because hafnium has a higher k-value than silicon dioxide, it should be able to do the same or better job at a thickness that prevents leakage. That advance would allow Intel to shrink the smallest dimension of its transistors from today's 65 nanometers to 45 nanometers.

The beauty of silicon dioxide was that manufacturers could grow it simply by placing a silicon wafer into a vessel filled with oxygen. Producing hafnium oxide transistors would require chipmakers to add multiple new steps to the manufacturing process in part because the electrodes must be fashioned from metal, instead of from a form of silicon, to remain compatible with the hafnium. Initial production costs would probably be higher and early chips likely to contain more defects, because the materials would be more sensitive to heat and other influences. The presence of silicon dioxide would require chipmakers to add nitrogen to the hafnium oxide as well. Without it, the insulator would only have a modestly improved k-value that would be insufficient for the next two or three reductions in transistor size.

SOLDERING TIPS

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Newsletter

WHAT'S NEW?

VIDEO: BEST at APEX 2017 Convention

ARTICLE: To Bake or Not to Bake (in Rework)

 

 

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