All About Reballing
Reballing means changing all the Soldered Balls on Chip Ball Grid Array Circuit, there are a lot of different reasons why we need to reball a Chip. And I know pretty sure with the help of this article, I definitely gonna helps you to know every little detail about this reballing thing.
So, let’s start with:
What Is This Reballing Actually?
Engineers made Ball Grid Array Circuit design to make an accurate contact between the chip and the printed circuit board. Due to lots of reasons like an older ball joint etc. we do need to recreate all the ball solder joints by ourselves in order to take work from that BGA Chip. Mainly this reballing includes removing all old solder balls and replacing the new one in the place of old one.
Reballing mostly performs on Computer’s, Laptop’s and Gaming Console’s motherboards and the reason behind this problem is Video Graphic Chip. And believe it or not but the Video Chip of your device is the most unlucky chip who get the most broken soldered joints in it and needs to get repair mostly.
In fact, Not only just video chip there are also lots of BGA Circuit Chips available in the market who needs to get reballing when it’s got broke or become faulty.
Effects Of Bad Solder Joints:
Sometimes when we are playing a game or some video on our computer system and then suddenly the computer’s screen got turn black and nothing came out beside the blank screen.
It’s possible that your Gaming Console is also having this kind of problem in their motherboard too, only if you’re facing the same issue with your console.
And not just the blank screen, you can also have the problem like Vertical/Horizontal lines or Dots on the whole screen kind of problem on the display and sometimes just because of a bad solder joint, our system’s PCB isn’t able to get the system start.
Why BGA Chip Needs Reballing?
There are mainly four different reason why a BGA chip needs reballing and those 4 reasons are:
- Just because of overuse or long running time period of the Graphic Chip, the solder joints between the Chip and PCB becomes loose and create’s display related problems.
- Most of the times BGA Chip got faulty and need to be replaced with the new one.
- Sometimes, PCB motherboard needs a BGA Chip Upgradation.
- When a chip start to heat, it makes the solder ball hot and become loose and change it’s location, because of that sometimes it creates a Solder Bridge which can also make your PC dead.
Now Let’s Focus On The Procedure;
First of all, doing this whole reballing procedure isn’t that easy how it looks like, and there are also so many kinds of tools and supplies you’ll need while reballing a chip.
And you know what the saddest part is, all needed tools and supplies aren’t cheap either and that’s why people don’t perform this reballing at their home.
So, the things what you’ve need is a BGA Kit and a BGA Rework Machine which all are available in the market and you can also find it easily on the internet too, and that’s the compulsory tools what you’ve always needs while performing a BGA Circuit Reballing.
Here’s the list of necessary supplies what you’ve need for the Procedure:
- Soldering Iron – A Soldering Iron is a hand instrument used for soldering. It supplies heat to melt the Solder Metal so it can flow into the broken joints between the PCB and the Electronic Components. A soldering iron is composed of a heated metal tip with an insulated handle.
- Soldering Paste – Solder paste is a material mainly used by the manufacturer for printed circuit boards to connect surface mount components to pads on the circuit board. So, it helps a lot when we are sticking the electronic components or solder balls on the mounted area.
- Desoldering Wire – Desoldering wire, it is also known for desoldering wick or solder wick, its excellently braided 18 to 42 AWG copper wire coated with Rosin Flux, usually available on a roll in the market. The main work of this Desoldering Wire is to remove solder from a solder joint by soaking all the metal solder in it.
- BGA Chip Case: It’s only just a normal holding stand who only made for holding Chips for Reballing.
- BGA Chip Stencils – Chip Stencils is a piece of metal sheet with having lots of holes for Solder Balls on it. Mainly it was made of high-quality steel and it can be heated directly by the hot air gun or BGA machine to make this Soldering balls process easy and quickly.
- Solder Balls – Solder Balls are small balls of solder that are randomly scattered across the surface of an SMT board. The main work of these solder balls is to provides the contact between the chip package and the printed circuit board, as well as between stacked packages in multichip modules.
- BGA Rework Machine – It’s a heat providing machine mainly used for attaching or removing the BGA Chips.
So, Let’s Start The Procedure:
In this article, I’m only gonna write a procedure for PlayStation 3 Video Graphic Chip but I’m sure by reading this article you do gonna have some knowledge to perform this reballing thing on any BGA Chip by your own.
Actually, reballing is a lengthy and hard procedure so, make sure you do read every step carefully and perform every practical step even more carefully and if you’re a beginner, then I highly suggest you to take a help from a professional engineer.
So, the first thing which I want you to do is to disassemble your System or Console and take your motherboard out of the System’s or Console’s case, just like a picture given below after this paragraph. If you don’t know how to disassemble your device, then I highly suggest you to check a disassembly tutorial video on a YouTube to get some easy help.
After that, you’ll need to remove the metal heat sink cover above from your motherboard’s Graphic Chip and you can use a skinny knife carefully to remove the heat sink from the chip’s surface.
If you are having some trouble in that, then you also use a Heat Gun and warm the upper part of the heat sink and when it gets hot, just try to use the knife again and this time, you’ll definitely gonna remove it.
After when you removed the heat sink, now you’ll need a 90% pure isopropyl alcohol liquid to clean your video chip’s surface. You can use an Isopropyl Alcohol dipped cotton ball to clean your chip.
After that, you’ll need to put some liquid soldering paste in every corner of the graphic chip. That makes your chip cover with the soldering paste and it also helps you a lot while Desoldering the video chip.
Now I want you to make a cover for your motherboard’s components by using a foil paper. You’ll only need to cover everything nearby your Graphic Chip beside its own.
After that, stick the heat sensor wire at the side corner of the chip and it will help you to find the temperature status of your chip.
Now put the motherboard on the BGA Rework Machine and tighten all the holding panel to adjust the motherboard on the machine properly.
So, now that stage comes where you’ll need to do the reballing thing. In this stage, you’ll have to cover the chip by the heater and adjust the Machine Temperature according to procedure time duration.
Now I want you to set the temperature at medium for about 1 minute and then suddenly rise the temperature to the 250 Degree Celsius for about 1 more minute and when you feel the solder get melted you can take out the chip with the help of Chip Holder or otherwise, if you think your chip need time more than 1 minute then you can give some extra heat to your chip to make it removed.
After when you removed the chip, now you’ll need to put some more Soldering paste on the BGA surface and then by the use of a soldering iron you can remove the rest remaining solder on the Printed Circuit Board’s surface.
Just preheat the solder iron and wave all over the PCB’s surface.
After that cut a piece of Desolder Wire and put it on the circuit’s board surface, then put the soldering iron on the Desoldering wire and wave all over the chip and because of that, you’ll see all the remain solder metal got soaked by the Desoldering Wire and the surface got cleaned.
After that, you’ll need to attach the chip on the chip holder and do the same solder cleaning process again also for the chip.
So, attach the chip, put some solder paste on it and wave solder iron for a while and then, put a piece of Desoldering wire and also wave it on the chip with the help of Solder Iron, and that will definitely make your chip looks nice and clean.
After that, you’ll need to put some solder paste on the chip with the help of your finger and make sure you don’t put the extra paste on it. I’m suggesting this because it helps the chip to make ball stick on it while doing the reballing thing.
Now put the middle and upper case cover and tighten all the screw to make the whole case hold still on its actual place.
Now you’ll need to put the solder balls on the metal sheet surface and while doing this you’ll see the balls will automatically get into the small holes and fill all the gaps between them very quickly. So, you can also try to shake the chip holder gently and that can help you to fill the rest of remaining free holes.
Solder balls are available in different sizes so, make sure you do have the correct one at your side or otherwise you’ll mess up all things.
When you’ve successfully fill all the holes, then now you’ll have to unscrew the holder and gently remove the upper holder part from the chip stand. You’ll have to be gentle now or otherwise you will disturb all the balls location.
After that heat the chip with the help of heat gun, and make sure you use your heat gun on very low air pressure or you will blow all the ball off from it.
After that, drop some more drops of liquid solder paste and spread it gently with the use of your finger. Then pace the chip back on its palace by putting it on the correct chip location. There’s always a mark which can guide you to know where you’ll have to put the chip in which direction. So, you’ll only have to match the mark and that’s it.
Now again reflow the chip and you can check out this >> “What Is Reflow? – Explained With Procedure” article to know how much heating time does your chip needs to get stuck on your motherboard.
When you’ve done with everything, just reattach your chip’s Heat Sink back on its place and test your device to find its working or not.
If your device works perfectly then Congratulation for the success, and if your device isn’t working properly then it’s possible you’ve done something wrong while performing the procedure or maybe your chip is Dead.
Hi Madhur! Excellent blog you have shared. I don’t think there is any other simple way to understand reballing. You have beautifully discussed BGA chip reballing and its requirements. I am also working in the same field for the last 20 years and therefore know very well about the subject(Reballing). Good Luck for this one.
Really a great content you have shared here for BGA Reballing!
omg …my new fav place to visit…. http://www.deskdecode.com 🙂
Now that’s a very smart procedure for this precise task!
Congratulations for your perfect site. Your instructions are always very detailed and make our lives easier 🙂
I have a question about this procedure. Humm….more specific.. a question before starting the procedure. Nowadays, most of the motherboards we meet, has 2 chips for the GPU. The nvidia chip and the IC chip . We can follow the procedure at both of these chips, right ? Both of these have solder balls. I am wondering if you have a solution to locate firstly, which of the chip has the problem and we have no image in the screen or lines or… etc. If we have no solution about this, we have to follow the reballing procedure for the pair of GPU’s chipsets, right ?
First, try to reball the main Graphics Chip (like Nvidia or AMD), because most of the times it’s the only one who used the most and gets faulty.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful and informative content with all of us. Keep it up.
Hi, i liked your blog.
I have a amd chip that needs reballing. I was asked to spend 2500 rs for reballing.
still my laptop is working on the single intel onboard graphic chip.
Engineer is saying that there might be risk of full motherboard going dead.
I just wanted to know the risks(all severe *if any) associated with this.
Can u Help…?
There is a 1% risk, but it’s all on you.
how measure the size of the ball?? actually used in the chip??
it was written on the ‘BGA Chip Stencils’ what you’ll use for your GPU Chip.
It has been always risky for BGA soldering in PCBA prototyping& small batch production, to ensure the BGA soldering quality, it’d better checked the BGA soldering with X-ray.
Wonder if its possible to make a specific imaging device just for reballing? there are micro-X-ray devices such as the Cool-X ™ and conventional imaging film will work with these as long as you get the relatively low energy variety ie terbium doped gadolinium oxysulfide.
Incidentally this “lights up” on front surface from just the alphas on a 241Am source!
wow, your an inspiration Madhur Tj. i am software and hardware at ivc college. i love your page, i will be back, i am working all kinds of projects at home here in California. recent projects, guitar a/b switch, and some code projects. i like audio, video, code, electronics and math.
An fascinating discussion is value comment. I feel that you need to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic but usually people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers