I'm putting together a footprint for a 100-pin, 14x14mm TQFP, and I'm finding conflicting designs. The pitch and width of the pads are all basically the same, but the length and centering of the pads horizontally varies a good deal.

The following images are from the Microchip packaging specifications document (see page 282-283), so that we can have names to use for the dimensions.
Physical Package:

overall pins pin lengths

Recommended Footprint:

center to center overall pad length

There's a table with numbers for each dimension, but the exact details aren't really important here.

Where should the pin go on the pad lengthwise?

  1. Should the pin be centered on the pad?
  2. (C1 = D - L) If so, what should Y1 be? L, L+tolerance, 2L?
  3. Should the inner edge of the pad line up with the inner edge of the pin?
  4. (C1 - Y1 = D - 2L) If so, how far should the pad stick out in front of the pin?
  5. Should the pad and pin have some other dimension?

Note that the question is basically moot if Y1=L. I'm assuming that I'll want a little extra pad to hit with the soldering iron.

It might be relevant that L1 is allowed to vary by ±25%, which feels like a bigger variation if you read 'between 0.45 and 0.75mm'. It might not be relevant.

I'm interested in solderability, avoiding invisible solder bridges under the chip, routing traces underneath (and outside of) the chip. Of course, I don't want to use absurdly long pads for heat dissipation and board space reasons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious why you think you need to improve on their recommended footprint? Depending on their packaging machine or what plant they come out of, they might change radically (and they probably won't tell you unless you buy >100k-1M or so), but they all should fit on the standard footprint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick T
    Jan 20 '11 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't need to improve, I'm just curious as to why they would have variation, and wanted to choose the best variation. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22 '11 at 0:54

If you're interested in solderability and manufacturability, then you should follow the recommended pad layout. I've never had a manufacturer's recommended pad layout give me grief, although I have run across a few vendors whose dimensioning requires a fair bit of headscratching and pencil-and-paper chicken-scratching in order to figure out offsets and spacing.

You are making some bad assumptions in your calculations though. No, pins are not often centered on the pads "lengthwise" but they are often centered widthwise. Y1 and C1 would most certainly be given by the manufacturer. The recommended land pattern will (in my experience) give more space for the pin on the "outside" of the pad and less underneath it. My guess is that that gives a good shape to the solder connection. You won't have anything in terms of heat dissipation unless there are a lot of grounds or you have a ground pad underneath. In the case of a lot of ground pins, you'll want to give them a lot of copper fairly quickly, but you'll want to connect the pad to the copper with thermals or you'll have soldering problems.

I wouldn't worry about minimizing board space, especially if you're not building a million of these. The half a millimeter you might save by shaving Y1 a little isn't worth it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Y1 and C1 are given by the manufacturer, but different manufacturers give slightly different values for each. I'm trying to decide between the various styles (mostly, does the back of the pad line up with the back of the pin). I'm really trying to get the best heel fillet. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20 '11 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh I see, I missed that. Are the devices really identical? Their manufacturing processes could very well account for the differences in L and L1. I wouldn't worry too much about centering, to be honest. \$\endgroup\$
    – akohlsmith
    Jan 20 '11 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm just curious. I tried to import a generic 0.5mm pitch 100-pin footprint to my PCB library, and when it didn't line up with the recommendations, I looked around and noticed some variation. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20 '11 at 0:22

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