0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the FreescaleFreescaleKL03KL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That’s a 20-ball wafer scale BGA form factor.

I don’t have an actual part to photograph next to a grain of sand, but trust me (or don’t), it’s really small.

Ti 0.44 pitch dimensionsThe challenge, and the reason I suggested a QFN form factor instead, is the costs involved. If you have the extra budget money for more expensive PCBs, then go ahead and use this form factor. You probably won’t be able to use this package in cost-constrained situations.

The simple reason is that you can’t escape route the inner six pins without using super small vias between pads, or in pads and filled and plated over. The page on the left is from a Ti doc, but any variations in geometry will be minor.

You can see that you can’t put a trace between the pads. Maybe a 2 mil trace, but maybe not. There just isn’t much room. The recommended method is to put microvias in the pads and have them filled and plated over at the board fab house. Never put a via in a micro BGA pad unless it’s filled, plated over, and flat.

Duane Benson
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But open vias in pads aren’t one of them