Designing Lead-Free, RoHS-Compliant,
and WEEE-Compliant Electronics

This web site is being maintained by John R. Barnes, who was the President and Chief Engineer of dBi Corporation from 2002 to September 30, 2013, when we closed because ObamaCrap made it too expensive for us to remain in business.

John R. Barnes KS4GL, PE, NCE, NCT, ESDC Eng, ESDC Tech, PSE, Master EMC Design Engineer, SM IEEE
November 6, 2005
jrbarnes@iglou.com

The WEEE Directive took effect in the European Union (EU) on August 13, 2005. The RoHS Directive is scheduled to take effect in the EU on July 1, 2006. China has drafted-- but not yet passed-- a "China RoHS" law that is also scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2006. The material bans in California's SB20 are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2007. These laws will have major effects on electronic products and electronic equipment that is intended to be sold and used in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China, and California. And since most companies won't want to design and manufacture electronic components, products, and equipment just for these markets, these laws will affect electronics worldwide-- including electronics intended solely for miltary and police use, which are explicitly excluded from these laws. The ban on lead is going to be particularly troublesome. Even if we aren't directly affected by these laws, we are likely to see severe side- effects from many of the components, materials, and processes that we use changing to lead-free, or going end-of-life (EOL) and thus becoming unavailable.

If the ban on lead in electronics is such a grand idea, I wonder just how many of the people who lobbied for the RoHS Directive and SB20/SB50, or the politicians who voted for these laws, would be willing to ride first-class for free on a trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific airline flight-- if they were told that:

  1. This was to be the first flight of this particular model of plane across an ocean,
    AND
  2. All of the electronics in the plane were "RoHS-compliant"?
Everyone makes mistakes. But when I've seen many people all doing really stupid things, it is because they are complying with-- or trying to live their lives as best they can, despite-- some half-baked government edict. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.... But the more I read ( over 125 books and over 4,250 other documents) about how the RoHS Directive and its ilk are being implemented, the more that I am convinced that the electronics industry will face a major disaster in 2006/2007.

I am a cheapskate, and I'm proud of it! Whether I design, build, or buy something, I intend it to have a long, useful life. The upcoming conversion to digital TV in the US doesn't worry me, because giving up my average of 1 hour per year of TV watching will give me more reading time! When I want to watch a videotape, my 1981 Curtis Mathis TV set and my 1986 Magnavox VCR will continue to work just fine. My 1986 Realistic stereo continues to play my LP records, after I replaced a defective capacitor some years ago. Early this year I had to replace the power supply and hard disk in my desktop computer, which I bought in 2001, so it should be good for another couple of years. I *have* retired my 1984 Toyota pickup truck, after putting just over 304,800 miles on it. The muffler broke off, destroying the catalytic converter in the process. It would cost me at least twice as much as the truck is worth just to replace those two items. And it was approaching time to replace the tires and alternator too. So goodbye "Truckie". I'm now driving the diesel Rabbit that I bought from my girlfriend in 2001, after she bought a new car. It now has 104,000 miles on it, and should be good for another 40,000 miles or so.

Whereas my girlfriend bought a new brand-name computer and monitor in December 2003, whose warranties ran out in December 2004. In January 2005 the power supply in her computer blew up with a loud bang! I fixed her computer, after doing about an hour of "metal mangling" to install a replacement generic power supply in place of the original custom power supply (which is almost impossible to obtain, and very expensive). Her monitor acted up about three weeks later, making a loud buzzing noise, and overloading her uninterruptable power supply (UPS). So I gave her one of my old monitors, which I had stashed away in case of computer trouble, which she has been using with no further problems. I've tested her monitor, by itself and connected on her old computer, without being able to duplicate the problem yet... My father was a TV repairman in the 1950's and 1960's, and intermittent problems were always the toughest ones for him to solve. And legislators wonder why "people hang onto old, obsolete electronic equipment"?

In the over 4,700 books and other documents that I have now collected on lead-free and RoHS-compliant electronics, there are numerous reports of major materials- and process- compatibility problems. Many of these are quality problems, and thus can be found by thorough testing during manufacturing. But there remain many latent reliability problems that may take months or years to show up-- at which time our expensive electronic doodad can suddenly turn into an unrepairable piece of junk. And we still don't have ways to find some of these problems by stress testing or accelerated- life testing.... I suspect that, for a while, we will be darned lucky if a piece of "RoHS- compliant" electronics gear lasts six months longer than its warranty. Personally, I don't plan to buy any new electronic products or equipment between January 2006 and July 2007. After a RoHS- compliant unit has been in production for at least a year-- with a good field history-- I might consider buying one if I'm truly desperate. But for the next few years, the warranties on new electronics will be more important to me than their features or their prices.

Nevertheless, most electronics manufacturers will have no choice-- if they want to stay in business-- except to comply with these misbegotten laws as best they can. Some of the proposed national and state laws have quite Draconian penalties for non-compliance-- no matter how minor. For example, in 2001/2002 Sony spent an estimated $86 million to replace peripheral cables in 1.3 million PlayStations, because they contained more cadmium than permitted under a Dutch law akin to the RoHS Directive. As I see the situation, the only people who are guaranteed to benefit from the RoHS Directive will be hordes of petty bureaucrats, hired to enforce the Directive, and people/companies providing RoHS-testing services, to give manufacturers some level of protection from those bureaucrats. Equipment manufacturers may benefit for a while, because it looks like most electronics manufacturers will have to set up new production lines, with all new equipment, to prevent "contaminating" RoHS-compliant products by equipment and tools that have been previously used with tin-lead solder.

Please note that I am currently working on my first lead- free, RoHS- compliant, and WEEE- compliant product. So the vast majority of the information in this web page is based on the engineering and scientific literature, and not on my personal experience. All of the laws that I discuss on this web page-- that affect how we design and manufacture electronic equipment and products-- were enacted after I became an EMC Engineer for dBi Corporation in early 2002. The majority of my work is electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), electromagnetic immunity (EMI), and electrostatic discharge (ESD) testing for our clients. And to date I have been 100% successful at getting our clients' products/equipment to comply with the applicable domestic and international EMC/EMI/ESD standards and laws. But I take professional pride in helping ensure that any project that I work on will be a success. Therefore, given the chance, I try to consult with clients and prospective clients long before they reach the prototyping and testing phases, to point out the best ways I know to meet:

We all learn best from our own experience. But getting that experience tends to severely blow schedules, budgets, and tempers. So I greatly prefer to learn from other people's mistakes, especially when they have been so kind as to publish the lessons that they learned the hard way. In this web page I'll compare and summarize information from numerous authoritative sources, to show you our options for making RoHS- compliant and WEEE-compliant electronics, that are still reasonably reliable, at an affordable cost. A lot of my organization and emphasis on this data is based on my 32 years of experience working fulltime in the electronics industry, solving numerous difficult electronics problems as a Firmware Programmer at Sycor from 1973 to 1977, a Test Engineer at IBM from 1977 to 1990, a Hardware Developer at Lexmark from 1990 to 2002, and an EMC Engineer at dBi since 2002: I have also written some 70 design guides and software packages-- including 3 books-- to help myself and other electronic engineers design/ develop electronic products and equipment. My books, Robust Electronic Design Reference Book, Volumes 1 and 2, which came out in March 2004, discuss lead- free electronics, the RoHS Directive, and the WEEE Directive in Chapters 3, 12, 13, 14, 20, and 33, the Glossary, and Appendixes C, G, O, and Q. But a lot of material about these subjects -- and how to design electronic products and equipment to meet them -- has been published since December 2003 when I submitted the final manuscripts to Kluwer (now part of Springer). The RoHS Directive, in particular, threatens to disrupt the electronics industry worse than the conversion from pin- through- hole (PTH) to surface- mount- technology (SMT) did in the 1980's and early 1990's. So I intend to revise this web page and its associated Bibliography at least weekly, to provide up-to-date design information in these areas.

We must consider many new materials- and process- compatibility issues when trying to develop lead- free, RoHS- compliant, and WEEE- compliant electronics. So far no one has been able to come up with a blanket recommendation to "do A, B, and C, and all your problems will be solved". I can't even give you specific recommendations, without fairly- intimate knowledge of your company's products, and some familiarity with your design and manufacturing processes. So just as I have done in my books, I intend this web page to:

  1. Give you an overall familiarity with the problems and opportunities facing us.
  2. Bring out the major factors, and their interactions, that we must consider.
  3. Briefly discuss the options open to us, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Show which options currently seem to be preferred by the electronics industry,
  5. Provide links and references to the best sources of information that I have been able to find on these subjects.
This web page is organized into three main sections: As frequently seems to happen in my writings, the list of references is much longer than my summary of the data. Most readers will just want the summary, so that they can make their design decisions and get on with their jobs. But researchers, and people battling specific problems, will want to go to the original source documents to dig deeper as needed. Therefore I have created a separate Bibliography, organized into: New information on these topics is continually appearing in the engineering literature and on the Internet. So please send critiques, corrections, and additions to jrbarnes@iglou.com. I would especially appreciate additional URL's of web pages where suppliers state their policy for discriminating lead-free and RoHS-compliant parts from lead-containing (or non-RoHS-compliant) parts, and where they recommend solders and the soldering conditions to be used with their parts. Thanks!

INTRODUCTION

The Problems (revised 3/2/2005)

Due to the rapid progress of electronics, many electronic products become obsolete long before they break or wear out. A standing joke among computer users is that that a brand-new computer is obsolete by the time you get it home. A typical new computer or computer monitor now gets used for only 2 to 3 years before it is replaced. In 2005, for every computer that is sold, another computer is expected to go obsolete. Cellphones have an average useful lifetime of 18 months, and there are currently about 1,000,000,000 cellphones in use worldwide. A study, partially financed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimated that 130,000,000 cellphones will be discarded in the United States in 2005.

Many governments, organizations, and some companies are worried about how to safely dispose of all of this electronic waste, or "e-Waste". The EPA estimates that 1-4% of municipal solid waste consists of discarded electrical and electronic equipment. A major concern is the presence of toxic metals and chemicals, which can leach into the groundwater from landfills, or pollute the air if the electronic waste is incinerated:

http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/toc/toc_chemsamp.html http://www.osha.gov/dts/sltc/methods/inorganic/id121/id121.html Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) in mg/m^3. References: [48, pages 2-3]

Government Actions (revised 11/6/2005)

The European Union published the End of Life Vehicles Directive (ELV Directive, 2000/53/EC) in volume 43 issue L269 pages 34-42 of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) on October 21, 2000. This Directive took effect on July 1, 2002, and with some exceptions (Annex II), totally bans the use of (Article 4.2(a)): in vehicles. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United Kingdom has gotten the impurity limits for the ELV Directive also to be applied to the RoHS Directive.

The European Union published the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive ( RoHS Directive, 2002/95/EC) in volume 46 issue L37 pages 19-23 of the OJ on February 13, 2003. This Directive takes effect on July 1, 2006, and with some exceptions (Annex) totally bans the use of (Article 4.1):

in electronic and electrical products and equipment.

Article 2.3 explicitly states that spare parts for the repair of electrical and electronic equipment put on the market before July 1, 2006 do not fall under the RoHS Directive. Nor does the reuse of electrical and electronic equipment put on the market before July 1, 2006. I.e., the electrical equipment is already in the European Union, and out of the manufacturer's control as of July 1, 2006. Owners of equipment acquired before this date may repair or upgrade their equipment, to extend its lifetime, instead of being forced to discard it.

Council Decision COM(2004) 606, adopted Sept. 23, 2004), amends the Annex of the RoHS Directive to permit-- in any application that was not already exempted--a homogenous material to contain a maximum of:

This first amendment was published in volume 48 issue L214 page 65 of the OJ on August 19, 2005. Under this definition, we can have a multi-million dollar piece of equipment that we want to sell or use in the EU. But if so much as one mark on one component exceeds any of these limits, the entire piece of equipment violates the RoHS Directive... and our company may be severely punished for this transgression.

The second amendment to the RoHS Directive was published in volume 48 issue L280 pages 18-19 of the OJ on October 25, 2005, adding some additional exemptions to the Annex.

The DTI has published a draft of the United Kingdom's version of the RoHS Directive as "Part IV - The RoHS Directive - draft implementing Regulations."

The DTI has also published draft Guidance Notes for the RoHS Directive, dated July 2004. A revised draft RoHS REGULATIONS Government Guidance Notes just came out in August 2005.

The European Union published the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive, 2002/96/EC) in volume 46 issue L37 pages 24-38 of the OJ on February 13, 2003. Directive 2003/108/EC, published in volume 46 issue L345 pages 106-107 of the OJ on December 31, 2003, amends Article 9 of the WEEE Directive with regard to the financing of WEEE for businesses. The WEEE Directive:

The DTI has published a draft of the United Kingdom's version of the WEEE Directive as "Part II - The WEEE Directive - draft implementing Regulations."

The DTI has also published draft Guidance Notes for the WEEE Directive, dated July 2004. According to these Guidance Notes, producers must register with the (UK) National Clearing House by August 13, 2005 (pages 4, 20-21).

The European Union also bans many flame retardants that might be used in printed circuit boards (PCB's) under the Restrictions on the Marketing and Use of Certain Dangerous Substances and Preparations Directive (Directive 76/769/EEC) which has been amended 39 times since it was published in the OJ in September 27, 1976.

The European Union published the Batteries and Accumulators Containing Certain Dangerous Substances Directive (Battery Directive, 91/157/EEC) in volume xx issue L78 pages 38-41 of the OJ on March 26, 1991. Directive 98/101/EC, published in volume 42 issue L1 pages 1-2 of the OJ on January 5, 1999, clarifies the limitations on mercury in batteries. The Battery Directive permits lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries to be used in electrical and electronic equipment as long as they contain less than 0.0005% by weight of mercury. Button cells and batteries made from button cells are permitted to contain up to 2% mrecury by weight (Article 3.1).

The European Union published the Energy-using Products (EuP) Directive (EuP Directive, 2005/32/EC) in Volume 48 issue L191 pages 29-58 of the OJ on July 22, 2005. This Directive took effect on August 11, 2005. It sets up a framework for regulating products that:

A major concern is the total energy required:

China's Ministry of Information Industry has drafted a Management Methods for the Prevention and Control of Pollutants from Electronic Information Products law, often referred to as "China RoHS". This law has not been adopted yet. But if adapted, after July 1, 2006 it would ban:

in products using electronic information technology.

California passed Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 in 1986. This act affects companies who:

Electrical/electronic products which are handled frequently, such as portable stereos and hair dryers, may require a warning label on units sold in California. The concern is trace amounts of listed chemicals, such as lead or cadmium, in the power cord or housing. If users handle the unit, then eat without washing their hands, they could ingest some of the chemical(s). If the total exposure to any listed chemical exceeds 0.1% of the amount that could have an "observable effect", then the manufacturer can be fined $2,500 per day per violation. Needless to say, some lawyers and law firms in California have found filing Proposition 65 lawsuits to be extremely profitable...

California adopted Senate Bill No. 50 (SB50) on September 29, 2003, amending SB20 in a number of areas, but the combination is usually still referred to as "SB20". SB20 and SB50 create a number of bureaucratic hurdles and snares for anyone who sells-- or wants to sell-- video display devices with screens larger than 4 inches diagonal (with some exceptions, SB50, pages 9, 11; SB20, page 9) to consumers in California:

California Legal Council's digest of SB20, on page 6, 25214.10 says "The department shall adopt regulations ... that prohibit an electronic device from being sold or offered for sale in this state (my italics) if the electronic device is prohibited from being sold or offered for sale in the European Union ... to the extent that Directive 2002/95/EC ... prohibits that sale due to the presence of certain heavy metals". On page 13, 42474(c) says "Civil liability in an amount of up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) may be administratively imposed by the board against manufacturers for failure to comply with this chapter...".

California Legal Council's digest of SB50, on page 2, (3) says "The act requires each manufacturer of an electronic device who sells a covered electronic device in this state to submit an annual report to the board on the number of electronic devices sold by the manufacturer". On page 6, 25214.10.1 specifies the information that a manufacturer must suppy to retailers and the State Board of Equalization. On page 9, 42463(f) defines the "covered electronic devices". On page 10, 42463(n) defines "manufacturer". On page 11, 42463(t) defines "video display device". On pages 11 and 12, 42464.6(a) gives the Department of Toxic Substances Control the authority to determine what is, or is not, a "covered electronic device". On pages 13 and 14, 42465.2 specifies the information that the manufacturer must supply to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, consumers, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

For the actual implementation of SB20 and SB50, California's Health and Safety Code Section 25214.9-25214.10.2, under 25214.10(a) effectively bans lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium in "covered electronic devices" to the limits permitted by the RoHS Directive by January 1, 2007, or the effective date of the RoHS Directive, whichever comes later.

Furthermore, California's Public Resources Code Section 42463, 42463(f) defines "covered electronic device", 42463(n) defines "manufacturer", and 42463(t) defines "video display device".

California's actual regulations implementing SB20 and SB50 are in Emergency Regulations. 18660.5(23) has this snare for manufacturers-- "These catagories include, but are not limited to, (my italics) ...". 18660.41 specifies information that manufacturers must report to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, while 18660.42 specifies information that manufacturers must provide to consumers.

Maine adopted LD 743 (amended by HP 549) on May 14, 2003. This law bans disposal of CRT's in landfills after January 1, 2006.

Massachusetts, under 310 CMR 19 paragraph 19.017(3)(c), has not permitted cathode ray tubes (CRT's) to be deposited in landfills, or incinerated, since April 1, 2000.

Minnesota adopted H.F. No. 882 in 2003. This law bans disposal of CRT's in landfills after July 1, 2005.

Maryland adopted House Bill 575 on May 10, 2005. This law requires computer manufacturers that manufactured more than 1,000 computers per year, averaged over the last three years, to register with the (Maryland) Department of the Environment if they wish to sell new computers in the state after December 31, 2005. The initial registration fee is $5,000. The registration fee then drops to $500 per year if the manufacturer has implemented a "computer takeback program". Otherwise the registration fee continues at $5,000 per year. This law will expire December 31, 2010 unless it is renewed by the legislature.

References: [1], [2]. [3], [4], [5], [5a], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [10a] [11], [11a] [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [21a], [48 pages 4-11, 31, 424-425]


WHAT DESIGN ENGINEERS CAN DO

Overall Requirements for Lead-Free, RoHS-Compliant, and WEEE-Compliant Designs (revised 3/26/2005)

Please pardon my mess. This section is probably going to continue to be mainly notes to myself until I have worked through all the books and other source documents that I have collected, and finished off all the other sections. When I am compiling massive amounts of data, as in this work, I find it helpful to:
  1. List the questions that we would like answered.
  2. Organize these into clusters, with a logical overall flow.
  3. Write down the data as I collect it, in the form of rough notes (maybe with pointers to the source) under the appropriate questions.
  4. Split, merge, and shuffle my rough notes as needed.
  5. Reorganize my notes into lists, tables, and figures as appropriate, as I become aware of previously-hidden relationships between data from various sources.
  6. Clean up my notes into readable prose.
  7. Finally, write the introduction to the section, briefly stating the conclusions that I have worked so long and laboriously to figure out.
All of this chaos is usually safely hidden on my main computer, visible only to me and my co-workers until the document is completed. But I am doing the research for these web pages at several different libraries, in addition to my home office. Thus I find it useful to upload this web page to my web site, where I can access it from any computer with an Internet connection, to help guide me in my searches. So you are definitely seeing a "work in process"...

An important point to remember is that "lead-free" does not necessarily mean "RoHS-compliant", and "RoHS-compliant" does not necessarily mean "lead-free". If any homogeneous material-- anywhere in the electronic product-- contains too much lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's), or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's), then the entire unit is not "RoHS-compliant". This could be something as insignificant as one inspection stamp on one board of a multi-million dollar machine... Similarly, the glass of a large cathode-ray tube (CRT) could contain several pounds of lead. But since it falls under exemption 5 in the Annex of the RoHS Directive, it can be "RoHS-compliant" and not "lead-free".

As I see the situation, almost all of us electronic engineers are going to be heavily affected by the ban on lead in the RoHS Directive, "China RoHS", and SB20, regardless of whether we feel these laws are wise or incredibly asinine. Personally, from January 2006 to about July 2007 I doubt that I will buy any electronic product or equipment that touts it is "RoHS Compliant". I'm also stocking up on 60/40 and 63/37 rosin-core tin-lead solder for my home workshop, and already have about 70 pounds of it in various gauges... Which should be enough for all the home projects I'll want to build, electronic things I'll need to fix, and junk electronics I'll dismantle for useful parts before I die or get too blind to work on them.

Article 4.1 of the RoHS Directive says "Member States shall ensure that, from 1 July 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)." The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United Kingdom is pushing for the impurity limits to be ( Guidance Notes for the RoHS Directive, item 26):

For many electronics companies, the major impact of the RoHS Directive is the ban on lead. Lead has been used for millennia in solder, and for decades as part of the protective platings on components and printed circuit board (PCB) pads and traces. Lead has been used as an ultraviolet/heat stabilizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) insulation on wires. Lead has also been used in many pigments and paints, in some lubricants, and in some metal alloys to make them easier to machine.

There are a few lead-free solder alloys that have melting points close to that of eutectic tin-lead solder (63Sn37Pb, 183 degrees Celsius). But they either use fairly-rare elements like indium, or they have poor mechanical/chemical properties compared to tin-lead solder, or both.

Most of the lead-free solder alloys that are available in quantity, and aren't too-hideously expensive, have melting points at least 30 degrees Celsius higher than eutectic tin-lead solder. Some electronic components that we have been using for decades, such as aluminum electrolytic capacitors, can not survive these higher processing temperatures. With the longer dwell time at high temperature required by many of the lead-free solders, "popcorning" of plastic semiconductor packages is a major problem. The higher temperature and longer dwell time can also crack vias and plated-through holes in PCB's, causing intermittent opens when the PCB is stressed in use. (The resin exceeds its Glass Transition Temperature (Tg), greatly increasing the laminate's Thermal Coefficient of Expansion (TCE) versus that of the copper plating in the barrels.) Thus we may need much tighter process controls to prevent damage to components and PCB's during assembly and rework. Finding lead-free components that can survive these tougher processing conditions can be difficult. Many products will have to be completely requalified because of all the component and process changes. And due to lead-free component availability, we are likely to have a transition period during which we make products with a mixture of lead-containing and lead-free components, leading to reliability issues.

We can still use NiCad and lead-acid (gel cell) batteries in electronic and electrical devices, even though the RoHS Directive bans cadmium and lead, because they fall under the Battery Directive. The DTI's Guidance Notes for the RoHS Directive, item 14.v says that the RoHS Directive does not apply to batteries, because the WEEE Directive requires them to be removed from the equipment when it is collected as waste.

Mercury has been banned in many countries for a number of years, so the RoHS Directive's ban on it doesn't hurt us too much.

There are also many alternative flame retardants to the PBB's and PBDE's, so the RoHS Directive's bans on them aren't too painful either.

The WEEE Directive does not directly affect the cost of a product. But it requires the manufacturer or importer to include a (hidden) allowance in the selling price for collecting and disposing of the product when the user is finished with it. By designing a product to be easy to dismantle and recycle, we can reduce this allowance and thus the selling price -- making our product more attractive to prospective users.

patent situation


Exemptions (revised 10/31/2005)

With the October 25, 2005 amendment to the RoHS Directive , the Annex exempts some additional applications from the ban in Article 4.1: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the United Kingdom says that the RoHS Directive does not apply to batteries in item 14.v of the Guidance Notes for the RoHS Directive. Item (9) in the preamble to the RoHS Directive says "This Directive should apply without prejudice to ... specific Community waste management legislation ... on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances". The DTI also says in item 14.i of the Guidance Notes for the RoHS Directive that the RoHS Directive does not apply to electrical and electronic equipment "intended specifically to protect national security and/or for miltary purposes". This opinion is based on Article 2.3 in the WEEE Directive, which says "Equipment which is connected with the protection of the essential interests of the security of Member States, arms, munitions and war material shall be excluded from this Directive".


Where the Banned Materials have been Used (revised 1/22/2005)

solder, component leads, PCB PTH's and pads, laminate, component packages

Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Solder (revised 4/2/2005)

A solder is a fusible alloy whose melting point is significantly lower than the melting point(s) of the metal surfaces to be joined. For the soft solders typically used in electronics, this melting point (liquidus) is under 400C.

Making a solder joint involves five materials:

During the soldering process:
  1. Flux reacts with the terminal alloy, solder alloy, and board alloy to leave atomically-clean surfaces.
  2. Molten solder physically wets the terminal alloy and board alloy, with wetting angles determined by the relative interfacial energies of the:
  3. Molten solder chemically reacts with the terminal and board alloys (chemical wetting), forming intermetallics like Ag3Sn, AuSn2, AuSn4, Cu3Sn, Cu6Sn5, Ni3Sn4, PdSn2, PdSn3, PdSn4, and PtSn4, that bond the solder to the terminal alloy and the board alloy.
  4. Molten solder solidifies, forming the final solder joint.
Thus we may wind up with up to nine layers of different materials in the final solder joint:
  1. Terminal alloy.
  2. Terminal alloy depleted by the terminal-solder intermetallic.
  3. Terminal-solder intermetallic.
  4. Solder alloy depleted by the terminal-solder intermetallic.
  5. Solder alloy.
  6. Solder alloy depleted by the board-solder intermetallic.
  7. Board-solder intermetallic.
  8. Board alloy depleted by the board-solder intermetallic.
  9. Board alloy.
For a good, reliable solder joint, each of these layers must be reasonably strong, and must bond to the layers above and below it both mechanically and electrically, both initially and for the lifetime of the product. Intermetallic layers between 1 and 5µm thick are generally acceptable. Some desireable characteristics for lead-free solders to replace SnPb solders in electronics are: A low melting point for the solder minimizes damage/degradation of the components and PCB. But if the melting point is too low compared to the maximum operating temperature, we may see reliability problems due to creep, or even have solder joints melt while in use (components falling off a board are a bad omen...). Actually, the "melting point" of many solder alloys is kind of vague. Below the solidus temperature the solder is completely solid. Above the liquidus temperature the solder is completely liquid. But between the solidus and liquidus temperatures the solder is "pasty", with solid particles suspended in liquid. A pure metal will have a sharply-defined melting point. Most, if not all, binary alloys (two elements) have a eutectic composition where the liquidus temperature equals the solidus temperature, giving us a 0C pasty range. Ternary alloys (three elements) and more complex alloys may have a peritectic composition, where a chemical reaction between the elements takes place at a fixed temperature during heating and cooling, again giving us a 0C pasty range. Solidus temperature solder softens. Melting point = liquidus. recommend liquidus = twice maximum service temperature (C ?)

For molten solder to properly wet another metal (PCB holes/pads and component leads/balls) that metal also must be somewhat hotter than the solder's melting point. SnPb solders typically require about 20 to 50, typically 35C superheat. A nitrogen atmosphere (nitrogen blanket) can reduce the superheat required by some lead-free solders, and thus the reflow/wave soldering temperature required.

A near-eutectic or near-peritectic solder composition, with a narrow pasty range, reduces the temperature range and thus the time span during which the solder joints are sensitive to movement during solidification, and thus the likelihood of "cold solder joints". A narrow pasty range also reduces the chances of "fillet lifting", where the solder shrinks severely as it cools and solidifies, breaking loose from the PCB pad. Eutectic compositions are also more fluid in the liquid state than non-eutectic composotions of the same metals. For solders with a wide pasty range, they may react with a significant fraction of the terminal alloy and board alloy before they are fully fluid. A wide pasty range does help when the solder must fill wide gaps.

In general, adding elements to a solder alloy greatly increases the chances for the composition to go awry during manufacturing, storage, and the soldering process. Thus we will usually prefer either a binary or a ternary solder alloy for their lot-to-lot consistency and their low sensitivity to variations in the platings or coatings on PCB's and component leads/balls. Solder paste has a very-high surface area, and thus is susceptible to oxidation. We must pay close attention to solder paste's shelf life and total "open time" if we want reliable solder joints. Solder alloys used for wave soldering are held at high temperature for long periods in direct contact with the solder pot, pump, nozzles, etc. Lead-free solders tend to be much more corrosive than SnPb solders, contaminating the solder and maybe damaging the equipment. Elements like zinc can oxidize and be carried out in the dross, also changing the solder composition. And the molten solder can dissolve copper and other elements from the components and PCB's being soldered, gradually contaminating the solder bath, and affecting the quality of solder joints.

Insensitive to Pb contamination. SnBiPb melts at 96C.

Can be repaired and reworked.

Cost comparable to SnPb solder.
Mineral Commodity Summaries 2005

Doesn't require large quantities of rare elements. The electronics industry is currently using about 4,000 metric tons (1 metric ton = 10^3kg) of solder paste and 35,000 metric tons of solder bar per year. Thus, assuming that this averaged 60% tin and 40% lead, solder consumed about 24,000 tons per year of lead (Pb). Switching to a tin- silver (SnAg) or tin- silver- copper (SnAgCu) solder with about 3.5% of silver would consume about 2,100 tons of silver per year-- whereas her Table 8.11 shows that about 1,500 more tons of silver could be produced per year. Tin-bismuth (SnBi) solders require at least 40% bismuth, which would consume about 24,000 tons of bismuth per year. Whereas Table 8.11 shows that at most 4,000 more tons of bismuth could be produced each year. Tin-indium (SnIn) solders require at least 5% indium, which would consume about 3000 tons of indium per year. Whereas Table 8.11 shows that at most 100 more tons of indium could be produced per year. (Adjust these numbers for the density of the different solders.)

Adequate mechanical strength and ductility.

Reasonable Thermal Coefficient of Expansion (TCE).

Good fatigue resistance, creep resistance, and corrosion resistance. reliability drops as intermetallics get thicker. Voids are significantly more common in lead-free solder joints than in SnPb solder joints-- these are frequently the starting points for cracks and crack growth. voids due to gases that can't escape from molten solder. Many intermetallics are brittle. Their Temperature Coefficient of Expansion may differ from the bulk solder, causing cracking during thermal cycling. Intermetallics layers 1-5um thick are usually acceptable.

Low volume resistivity.

Compatible with fluxes during storage, preheating, and soldering.

The United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) ranks the toxicity of elements typically used in solders as Bi < Zn < In ?? < Sn < Cu < Sb < In ? < Ag < Pb. PEL = permissible exposure limit

Can be easily recycled.

Not restricted by patents. numerous patents on lead-free solders in different countries, many of these overlap because of tolerances on compositions. [48, pages 389-408] some patents cover not only the solder alloy, but also solder joints made with them. concern here is that in making a solder joint, get compositions that are a mixture of the solder and the plating or base metal of the component and the PCB, thus violating patent claims. licensing is one solution. trade barrier to selling product in country where a patent holds. SnAgCu may run into trouble with JP3027441 in Japan, JP09326554 in Japan, US6231691 in the US, and US5863493 in the US, and patent applications EP1213089, EP1196015, EP1180411 in Europe, US2002-0155024 in the US. SnCu may run into US6296722, JP10324482, JP10324483, and JP10069742.

solder paste stored at 35 to 45F; used in first-in first-out basis; let come to room temp 4 hours before opening; shelf life of SnAgCu 3-4 months versus 6 months for SnPb paste Sn3.5Ag wire good for hand rework; Sn3.9Ag0.6Cu paste good for rework; Sn0.7Cu or Sn3Ag0.5Cu in mini solder pot hold tip on joint longer than SnPb to ensure reflowing Solders are specified by the nominal percentage weight (1% = 0.01 of the total weight) of each element in the alloy. If the percentage of an element is not specified, it makes up the remainder of the alloy. Elements making up to 5% of the alloy typically have ±0.2% tolerance by weight. Elements making up over 5% of the alloy typically have ±0.5% tolerance by weight.

Elements Commonly used in Lead-Free Solders and Platings
Chemical
Symbol
Common
Name
Melting
Point
2004 Average Cost per kg 2004 Worldwide Production, in 10^3kg Volume
Resistivity
@20C
rhov(20), in
Ohm-m
Galvanic
Potential
in V
Density, in
10^3kg/m^3
Thermal
Conductivity,
in W/m-C
OSHA PEL,
in mg/m^3
Comments
Ag Silver 962C $210.00 19,500 1.63E-8 0.08 10.50E3 429 0.01 byproduct of copper and lead mining
Al Aluminum 660C $1.80 28,900,000 2.73E-8 0.83 2.69E3 237 5  
Au Gold 1064C $13,000.00 2,470 2.27E-8 -0.11 19.3E3 317 -- byproduct of copper and lead mining
Bi Bismuth 271C $6.80 3,800 107E-8 0.18 9.75E3 8 -- tends to improve wetting of Sn,
byproduct of copper and lead mining,
limited availability
Cd (reference) Cadmium 321C $1.30 17,200 6.8E-8 0.67 8.65E3 97 0.005  
Co Cobalt 1495C $54.00 46,900 6.34E-8   8.9E3 100 0.1  
Cr (reference) Chromium 1907C $5.40 17,000,000 12.7E-8 0.60 7.19E3 94 0.5 (+2, +3)
0.05 (+6); proposed 0.001 (+6)
 
Cu Copper 1085C $2.90 14,500,000 1.72E-8 0.22 8.96E3 401 1  
Fe Iron 1538C $0.44 1,700,000,000 9.98E-8 0.68 to 0.78 7.87E3 82 --  
Ga Gallium 30C $550.00 69 13.6E-8   5.90E3 41 -- byproduct of aluminum, copper, and zinc mining
Ge Germanium 938C $410.00 50 45E-8 to 0.50   5.32E3 60 -- byproduct of zinc mining
Hg (reference) Mercury -39C $8.70 1,800 96.1E-8   13.55E3 8 0.1  
In Indium 157C $600.00 325 8.0E-8   7.31E3 82 0.1 limited availability
byproduct of lead and zinc mining
Mg Magnesium 650C $3.90 570,000 4.51E-8 1.73 1.74E3 156 5  
Ni Nickel 1455C $14.00 1,400,000 7.20E-8 0.14 8.90E3 91 1  
Pb
(reference)
Lead 327C $1.20 3,200,000 21.3E-8 0.55 11.35E3 35 0.05  
Pd Palladium 1555C $8,100.00 190 10.8E-8 0.08 12.02E3 72 --  
Pt Platinum 1768C $27,000.00 218 10.8E-8 -0.20 21.45E3 72 1  
Sb Antimony 631C $2.80 112,000 40.1E-8   6.69E3 24 0.5 byproduct of copper and lead mining
Si Silicon 1414C $1.80 4,700,000 60E-8 to 2300   2.33E3 148 5  
Sn Tin 232C $9.10 250,000 11.5E-8 0.52 7.31E3 (white)
5.75E3 (gray)
67 2 white beta-Sn stable at room temperature; gray alpha-Sn stable below 13C and brittle
Zn Zinc 420C $1.20 9,100,000 6.06E-8 1.05 7.13E3 116 --  
                     
(most of the information for this table is from Tables C-1 and C-2 in Barnes, John R., Robust Electronic Design Reference Book, Volume 2. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 2004. costs and worldwide productions from http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2005/mcs2005.pdf
OSHA PEL's from http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/toc/toc_chemsamp.html. Element information from CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 82nd Edition 2001-2002.

Summary of Lead-Free/RoHS-Compliant Solders for Electronics
Solder Alloy Composition
by Weight
Melting
Point
Reflow
Soldering
Wave
Soldering
Metal Cost per kg Comments
AuGe 12% Ge
remainder Au
356C       eutectic Au12Ge melts at 356C
AuIn 18% In
remainder Au
451 to 485C        
AuSi 3-3.6% Si
remainder Au
363-370C       eutectic Au3Si melts at 363C
AuSn 20% Sn
remainder Au
280C       eutectic Au20Sn melts at 280C
BiIn 33% In
remainder In
109C       eutectic Bi33In melts at 109C
GaInSn 21.5% In
16% Sn
remainder Ga
10C       eutectic Ga21.5In16Sn melts at 10C
GeAl 45% Al
remainder Ge
424C       eutectic Ge45Al melts at 424C
In pure In 157C        
InAg 3 to 10% Ag
remainder In
141 to 237C       eutectic In3Ag melts at 143C
Sn pure Sn 232C     170%  
SnAg 2 to 10% Ag
remainder Sn
221 to 295C     229 to 300% $13.73 [29] eutectic Sn3.5Ag melts at 221C
Sn3.5Ag recommended by NEMI for wave soldering and hand soldering,
high creep resistance
long history of use
resists fillet lifting if not contaminated with Pb,
widely available
SnAgBi 2 to 3.5% Ag
1 to 7.5% Bi
remainder Sn
205 to 220C 235C   217 to 310% prone to fillet lifting
SnAgBiCu 1.3 to 3.5% Ag
0.8 to 46% Bi
0.5 to 4% Cu
remainder Sn
186 to 221C       above 5% Bi can form SnBi melting at 138C, or SnAgBi melting at 136.5C,
suffer from fillet lifting during wave soldering
SnAgBiCuGe 2% Ag
4% Bi
0.5% Cu
0.1% Ge
remainder Sn
216C        
SnAgBiCuIn 3% Ag
1% Bi
0.7%Cu
2.5% In
remainder Sn
204 to 215C        
SnAgBiIn 2.0 to 3.5% Ag
1.0 to 3.0% Bi
1.7 to 10.5% In
remainder Sn
179-213C        
SnAgCu 0.3 to 4.7% Ag
0.5 to 6% Cu
remainder Sn
216 to 380C 235 to 250C   200 to 330% eutectice Sn3.8Ag0.7Cu melts at 217C
Sn3.8Ag0.7Cu recommended by IDEALS,
Sn3.9Ag0.6Cu recommended by NEMI
expensive
silver is toxic
SnAgCuBi see SnAgBiCu          
SnAgCuBiIn 3% Ag
0.7% Cu
1% Bi
2.5% In
remainder Sn
204 to 215C        
SnAgCuIn 3 to 3.5% Ag
0.5 to 0.7% Cu
1 to 8% In
remainder Sn
214 to 217C        
SnAgCuSb 2 to 3.8% Ag
0.7 to 0.8% Cu
0.25 to 0.5% Sb
remainder Sn
213 to 222C     206 to 240% eutectic Sn2.5Ag0.8Cu0.5Sb melts at 219C
compatible with SnPb
SnAgCuZn 3.5% Ag
0.5% Cu
1% Zn
      227%  
SnAgIn 3.5% Ag
1.5% In
remainder Sn
         
SnAgInBi 3.5% Ag
3-4% In
0.5-1% Bi
remainder Sn
202 to 214C        
SnAgSb 25% Ag
10% Sb
remainder Sn
233C        
SnAgZn            
SnBi 40 to 58% Bi
remainder Sn
138 to 170C     190% $7.79 [29] eutectic Sn58Bi melts at 138C
Bi has limited availability,
mixing SnBi with SnPb can make an SnPbBi alloy that melts at 96C if the Bi content exceeds 10.5% by weight
recrystallization may cause expansion and brittleness
tends to creep
SnBiAg 7.5-57% Bi
0.1 to 2% Ag
remainder Sn
138 to 212C        
SnBiIn 20% Bi
10% In
remainder Sn
143 to 193C        
SnCu 0.7 to 3% Cu
remainder Sn
227 to 300C 242C 275C 150% $8.62 [29] eutectic Sn0.7Cu melts at 227C
Sn0.7Cu recommended by NEMI for wave soldering,
also used for flip-chip applications and as a component-lead finish,
good wetting in an inert atmosphere (nitrogen blanket),
tends to develop solder bridges and rough solder joints
prone to growing tin whiskers, may transform to gray alpha-Sn
SnCuNi            
SnCuSb 0.7% Cu
0.3% Sb
remainder Sn
227 to 229C        
SnIn 8 to 52% In
remainder Sn
113 to 217C       eutectic Sn52In melts at 118C
expensive,
In has limited availability
SnInAg 20% In
2.8% Ag
remainder Sn
175 to 188C       eutectic Sn20In2.8Ag melts at 188C
SnInAgBi 1-8% In
3-4.1% Ag
1-4% Bi
remainder Sn
         
SnInAgBiCu 8% In
4.1% Ag
2.2% Bi
0.5% Cu
remainder Sn
193 to 199C        
SnInAgCu 4-8% In
3-4.1% Ag
0.5% Cu
remainder Sn
         
SnInCuGa 5 to 6% In
0.5 to 0.7% Cu
0.4 to 0.6% Ga
remainder Sn
210 to 215C        
SnInZn 8.8% In
7.6% Zn
remainder Sn
181 to 187C        
SnPb
(reference)
20 to 97% Pb
remainder Sn
183 to 315C 215C   $5.87 [29] eutectic Sn37Pb melts at 183C
soldering temperature must be about 35C above melting point for reliable solder joints; Sn97Pb and Sn90Pb with melting points around 325C are used for flip-chip connections
SnPbAg
(reference)
36% Pb
2% Ag
remainder Sn
179C       eutectic Sn36Pb2Ag melts at 179C
high creep resistance
good fatigue resistance
prevents dissolving Ag terminations
SnSb 1 to 8.5% Sb
remainder Sn
232 to 245C 290C 290C $8.36 [29] high creep resistance
SnZn 9% Zn
remainder Sn
199C     $7.99 [29] eutectic Sn9Zn melts at 199C
poor wetting for reflow soldering
poor compatibility with acid or alkaline fluxes
corrodes easily
SnZnAl   199C        
SnZnBi 5 to 8% Zn
3 to 10% Bi
remainder Sn
189 to 199C     140% Sn8Zn3Bi solder paste has shelf life of only days or weeks
SnZnInBi 5.5% Zn
4.5% In
3.5% Bi
remainder Sn
174 to 186C        
ZnAl 5% Al
remainder Zn
382C       eutectic Zn5Al melts at 382C
             

The next three tables extend Tables C-1, C-2, and C-3 in Appendix C, Important Properties of Conductors and Ferrites, in my book Robust Electronic Design Reference Book, Volume 2.

Electrical Properties of Conductors at Room Temperature
Conductor/
Ferrite
Volume
Resistivity
@20C
rhov(20), in
Ohm-m
Temperature
Coefficient of
Resistance
TCR(20), in
1/C
Relative
Permeability,
mur
Saturation
Magnetic
Flux Density,
in T
Galvanic
Potential
in V
AuGe          
AuIn          
AuSi          
AuSn          
BiIn          
GaInSn          
GeAl          
In          
InAg          
Sn 11.5E-8 0.0042 to 0.0047 1 -- 0.52
SnAg 11E-8 0.00041      
SnAgBi          
SnAgBiCu          
SnAgBiCuGe          
SnAgBiCuIn          
SnAgBiIn          
SnAgCu          
SnAgCuBi see SnAgBiCu        
SnAgCuBiIn          
SnAgCuIn          
SnAgCuSb          
SnAgCuZn          
SnAgIn          
SnAgInBi          
SnAgSb          
SnAgZn          
SnBi 38E-8        
SnBiAg          
SnBiIn          
SnCu          
SnCuNi          
SnCuSb          
SnIn 15E-8        
SnInAg          
SnInAgBi          
SnInAgBiCu          
SnInAgCu          
SnInCuGa          
SnInZn          
SnPb
(reference)
14E-8 to 21E-8   1 -- 0.56
SnPbAg
(reference)
14.7E-8        
SnSb 14E-8        
SnZn 12E-8        
SnZnAl          
SnZnBi          
SnZnInBi          
ZnAl          
           

Physical Properties of Conductors at Room Temperature
Conductor/
Ferrite
Density, in
10^3kg/m^3
Thermal
Conductivity,
in W/m-C
Emissivity
Rating
Melting
Point, Tm
in C
AuGe       356
AuIn       451 to 485
AuSi   285   363-370
AuSn   251   280
BiIn;       109
GaInSn       10
GeAl       424
In       157
InAg       141 to 237
Sn 7.00E3 to 7.35E3 62 to 74 0.04 to 0.15 232
SnAg 7.36E3 to 7.5E3     221 to 295
SnAgBi       205 to 220
SnAgBiCu       186 to 221
SnAgBiCuGe       216
SnAgBiCuIn       204 to 215
SnAgBiIn       179 to 213
SnAgCu 7.4E3     216 to 380
SnAgCuBi see SnAgBiCu      
SnAgCuBiIn       204 to 215
SnAgCuIn       214 to 217
SnAgCuSb       213 to 222
SnAgCuZn        
SnAgIn        
SnAgInBi       202 to 214
SnAgSb       233
SnAgZn        
SnBi 8.7E3     138 to 170
SnBiAg       138 to 212
SnBiIn       143 to 193
SnCu 7.3E3     227 to 300
SnCuNi        
SnCuSb       227 to 229
SnIn 7.3E3     113 to 217
SnInAg       175 to 188
SnInAgBi        
SnInAgBiCu       193 to 199
SnInAgCu       195 to 201
SnInCuGa       210 to 215
SnInZn       181 to 187
SnPb
(reference)
8.2E3 to 11E3 35 to 51   183 to 315
SnPbAg
(reference)
  49    
SnSb 7.25E3     232 to 245
SnZn   59   199
SnZnAl       199
SnZnBi       189 to 199
SnZnInBi       174 to 186
ZnAl       382
         

Miscellaneous Properties of Conductors at Room Temperature
Conductor/
Ferrite
Thermal
Coefficient of
Expansion, in
m/mC
Surface
Roughness,
in m
Thermoelectric
Voltage, in
V/C
AuGe      
AuIn      
AuSi 10E-6 to 12.9E-6    
AuSn 16E-6    
BiIn      
GaInSn      
GeAl      
In      
InAg      
Sn 2.1E-6 to 33E-6    
SnAg 22E-6    
SnAgBi      
SnAgBiCu      
SnAgBiCuGe      
SnAgBiCuIn      
SnAgBiIn      
SnAgCu      
SnAgCuBi see SnAgBiCu    
SnAgCuBiIn      
SnAgCuIn      
SnAgCuSb      
SnAgCuZn      
SnAgIn      
SnAgInBi      
SnAgSb      
SnAgZn      
SnBi 15E-6 to 19E-6    
SnBiAg      
SnBiIn      
SnCu      
SnCuNi      
SnCuSb      
SnIn 20E-6    
SnInAg      
SnInAgBi      
SnInAgBiCu      
SnInAgCu      
SnInCuGa      
SnInZn      
SnPb
(reference)
21E-6 to 30E-6   5E-6
SnPbAg
(reference)
     
SnSb 27E-6    
SnZn      
SnZnAl      
SnZnBi      
SnZnInBi      
ZnAl      
       

References:
[22, pages 396, 398, 401],
[23, pages 6-7, 10-11, 20-21, 24-27, 30, 32, 46-47, 53],
[24, pages 78-81, 1205-1209, 1328-1330, 1699-1701, 1703-1704, 1714-1720],
[25, pages 505-506, 614, 617-621, 623-624, 714-831],
[28, pages 37-42, 50-51, 53-61, 93],
[29, pages 6-10],
[33, pages 28-30, 74-75],
[34, pages C-3 to C-12],
[48, pages 27-29, 45-231, 263-264, 270-274, 277, 389-408, 415, 429-431, 444],
[49, pages 3.20-3.21, 11.14, 13.1-14.59, 15.3-15.13],
[50, pages 12, 49-136],
[51, pages 161-170, 305-310],
[68, pages 19-55, 81-91, 96-100, 103-129, 145-195, 218-221],
[86, pages 4-1 to 4-36, 12-45 to 12-47, 12-219 to 12-222],
[99, pages 1069-1101]


Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Conductive Adhesives (written 8/24/2005)


Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Electronic Components (revised 3/15/2005)

The RoHS Directive's limits on lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's), expressed as a weight fraction of any homogeneous material, are putting many electronic and mechanical component manufacturers in a serious bind. Almost by definition, manufacturers will be forced to use inferior alternatives to currently-used raw materials and processes that are: After all, if an alternative raw material and a suitable manufacturing process had been available for awhile, and were at least as good as current materials and processes, wouldn't we expect someone to be offering it already? In addition to the component- manufacturing process, RoHS- compliant components must survive a much-more-stressful soldering process than soldering with tin-lead solders. Most lead-free solders require at least 30C higher peak process temperature than tin-lead solders. Because lead-free solders have significantly poorer wettability, the electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCB's) must also be held at this higher temperature for much longer than for soldering with tin-lead solders. This can lead to: Popcorning is one of the most serious problems, that can make lead-free assemblies almost impossible to repair. All plastics absorb water vapor from the air. According to Table D-2 in Robust Electronic Design Reference Book, Volume 2, the absorbed water content of common plastics can range from 0.00% by weight for Teflon® FEP, up to 15% by weight for polyamides (nylons). Epoxies can absorb 0.0 to 4.0% moisture by weight, while silicones can absorb 0.02 to 5% moisture by weight. For manufacturing, we can keep components in their moisture-proof bags until shortly before we assemble and solder the boards, or store opened reels and trays of components in special ovens when they aren't needed on the assembly line. A board that is returned for repair, especially if it was installed in a customer's product, may not get this special care. Nor may the repair parts... Thus while trying to remove and replace a bad component, we are likely to damage several surrounding components, turning the board into instant scrap. In general, using the IPC/JEDEC J-STD-020C standard, RoHS- compliant plastic components are two Moisture Sensitivity Levels (MSL's) more moisture sensitive than equivalent non-RoHs-compliant parts.

Sn2.9Ag0.6Cu or Sn3.5Ag balls Sn, Sn-Pd-Ag on lead frames Sn chip terminations Pb-bearing finishes with Pb-free alloys can cause fillet lifting datasheets show termination material, maximum temperature rating, recommended and maximum reflow temperatures, moisture sensitivity rating tested for solderability, temperature & humidity aging, moisture sensitivity level, thermal cycling relibility, mechanical shock, vibration, high temperature storage, pull strength, shear on Sn, SnCu, SnAg, NiPd, NiPdAu plating or terminations, tin whiskers, SnPb and SnAgCu reflow soldering, SnPb and Sn0.7Cu wave soldering SnBi plating unacceptable with SnPb solder paste--cracking no In or Bi with BGA's 0.15" (3.81mm) between BGA or CSP and leaded components to prevent secondary reflow during rework electroplate with Pd, SnCu, SnBi electrode dipping in SnAgBiCu moisture sensitivity levels drop http://www.leadfreesoldering.com/ lead-containing components usually spec'd for 4 seconds at 260 oC, lead-free reflow takes about 30 seconds at 260 oC
Company Lead
Plating
BGA
Balls
Tin-Whisker
Prevention
Compatible
Solders
Reflow
Soldering
Wave
Soldering
3M            
Actel Sn SnAgCu     245-250C  
Adam Tech Sn       260C  
Advanced Interconnections Au over Ni
matte Sn over Ni
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260-270C
Advanced Linear Devices            
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)         245C  
Agere Microsystems            
Agilent Technologies (was Hewlett-Packard Semiconductor) Au
matte Sn
    SnAgCu
SnPb
240-260C  
Allegro         260C 260C
Alliance Semiconductor matte Sn
SnBi
      245-260C  
Altera matte Sn
SnCu
SnAgCu   SnAgCu 245-250C  
American Technical Ceramics       SnAgCu
SnIn
SnPb
SnPbAg
250-260C 240-250C
AMI Semiconductor matte Sn SnAgCu   SnAgCu 260C  
Amphenol Sn
Sn over Ni
         
Anadigics matte Sn       260C  
Analog Devices Sn       245-260C  
API Delevan Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
         
Arcotronics            
Arizona Microtek            
Aromat            
Artesyn NiPdAu
Sn over Ni
         
ATI Technologies            
Atmel PdAu over Ni
matte Sn
      260C  
Austria Microsystems matte Sn SnAgCu        
AVX matte Sn     SnPb 250C 260C
Axicom Sn over Ni
SnCu
      255C  
Bel Fuse       SnAgCu 260C 260C
BI Technologies matte Sn
SnCu
      260C  
Bourns Au over Ni       245C  
C&D Technologies       SnPb    
C&K Ag
Au
Au over Ni
matte Sn
matte Sn over Ni
      255C 255C
Caliber Electronics       SnAgCu 260C 260C
California Eastern Labs (CEL) SnAgCu
SnBiAu
    SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
California Micro Devices   SnAgCu        
Catalyst Semiconductor Sn       260C  
Central Semiconductor Matte Sn       260C  
Chipcon            
Cirrus Logic matte Sn SnAgCu   SnPb 245-250C  
Clare matte Sn     SnPb    
Coilcraft Au over Ni
PtPdAg
Sn
SnAg
    SnAg
SnPb
260C  
Comtech Aha matte Sn
SnBi
      260C  
Condor            
Conec            
Cooper Electronic Technologies            
Copal Electronics Au
Sn
SnCu
         
Corning Frequency Control Au over Ni
SnAgCu
    SnPb 260C  
Coto Technology matte Sn SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
245C 270C
Cree Lighting       SnAg
SnAgCu
SnPb
240C 260C
Crystal Clear Technology            
CTS matte Sn over Ni
SnAg
      260C  
Cypress NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnAgCu annealing
Sn thickness
  260C  
Dallas Semiconductor matte Sn SnAgCu   SnAg
SnAgCu
SnAgCuSb
SnBiAg
SnCu
260C  
Dialight            
Dielectric Laboratories Au over Ni
Ni
Sn over Ni
  Ni thickness      
Diodes, Inc.            
Diotec         260C  
Ecliptek       SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
ECS International       SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
Elpida            
EM Microelectronic            
Epcos Ag
AgPd
Au over Ni
Ni
NiPdAu
Sn
SnAg
         
Epson SnAg
SnBi
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
ept matte Sn over Ni          
Ericsson Power Modules Au over Ni
Pd over Ni
Sn over Ni
  Ni barrier SnAgCu
SnPb
245-260C  
ERNI matte Sn over Ni   Ni barrier SnAgCu
SnCu
SnPb
260C  
Euroquartz            
Everbouquet            
Evox Rifa Sn     SnPb    
Exar matte Sn
SnCu
SnAgCu annealing SnPb 250-255C  
Fagor Sn     SnAgCu
SnPb
245C  
Fairchild NiPd
NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnAgCu
    SnAgCu
SnPb
250-260C  
Fair-Rite matte Sn over Ni
SnAgCu
  Ni barrier SnAgCu
SnPb
   
FCI Sn
Sn over Ni
         
Ferroxcube Sn          
Fox Au
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
      260C  
Freescale (was Motorola) NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnBi
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
245-260C  
Fujitsu Sn over Ni
SnBi
SnAgBiCu
SnAgCu
SnBiAg
Ni barrier SnAgBiCu
SnAgCu
SnCuNi
SnPb
240-260C  
Gennum matte Sn SnAgCu   SnPb 260C  
Gowanda Electronics       Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
260C  
Grayhill Sn over Ni   Ni barrier      
GSI matte Sn SnAgCu     260C  
Halo Electronics         260C  
Holtek Semiconductor matte Sn       260C  
iC-Haus NiPd
NiPdAu
matte Sn
      245-260C  
Infineon Technologies matte Sn SnAgCu Ag barrier
annealing
SnAgCu
SnPb
SnPbAg
245-250C  
Inova            
Integrated Circuit Systems matte Sn SnAgCu annealing   260C  
Integrated Device Technology (IDT) matte Sn SnAgCu annealing   260C  
Intel matte Sn SnAgCu annealing SnPb 260C  
International Rectifier Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
      260C  
Intersil matte Sn SnAgCu   SnPb 245-260C  
ISSI matte Sn       260C  
ITOX            
ITT Cannon matte Sn over Ni       255C 255C
Ixys Sn       260C  
Jauch Ag
Au
Cu
Ni
Sn
      240-260C  
J W Miller            
KEC Semiconductor Au
Ni
Sn
SnAgCu
    SnAgCu
SnPb
265C  
Kemet Au
matte Sn
matte Sn over Cu
matte Sn over Ni
    SnPb 250-260C 260C
Kingbright            
Kingston            
KOA         260C  
Lambda       SnAgCu 245C  
Lattice Semiconductor            
Legerity matte Sn SnAgCu annealing SnPb 260C  
Linear Technology matte Sn   annealing
Sn thickness
SnAgCu
SnPb
245-260C  
Liteon            
Littlefuse            
LSI Logic            
Macronix            
Maxim matte Sn SnAgCu   SnAg
SnAgCu
SnAgCuSb
SnBiAg
SnCu
260C  
Maxtor            
MCC            
Memsic         260C  
Meritec Pd       250C  
Methode Electronics Au over Ni
Sn over Ni
    SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Micrel Sn       260C  
Micro Commercial Components Sn       260C  
Microchip matte Sn   annealing SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Micron matte Sn SnAgCu     260C  
Microsemi NiPdAu
matte Sn
  annealing SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Midcon matte Sn over Ni
SnAg
SnAgCu
  Ni barrier   260C 260C
MiLAN            
Mindspeed            
Mini-Circuits matte Sn over Ni
SnAg over Ni
SnAgCu
SnAgNi
  annealing
Ni barrier
SnPb    
Mitsubishi Electric SnCu
SnCuNi
         
Molex Sn
Sn over Ni
         
M-Systems SnCu SnAgCu     260C  
MTI       SnAgCu 255C  
Murata Ag
AgPd
Au
Cu
Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
    SnAgCu
SnPb
   
National Semiconductor matte Sn
SnCu
SnAgCu annealing SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
NEC Electronics Au
SnAgCu
SnBi
    SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
NEMKO matte Sn     SnAgCu
SnAgCuBi
SnCu
SnPb
250C 250-260C
NetSilicon         260C  
NIC Components Au over Ni
Sn
Sn over Ni
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
  Ni barrier
Sn thickness
SnAgCu
SnPb
   
Nichicon Sn          
NKK Switches            
Nordic Semiconductor matte Sn     SnAgCu 240-245C  
Novacap matte Sn          
Oasis Silicon Systems Matte Sn     SnPb 260C  
Oki Semiconductor SnBi SnAgCu     260C  
Omni Vision            
OMRON            
ON Semiconductor NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnAgCu
SnBi
    SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Opnext            
OSRAM Semiconductor matte Sn over Ni   Ni barrier
Sn thickness
  260C 260C
Oxford Semiconductor            
Panasonic Au
SnSnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
SnZnNi
      235-260C  
PennEngineering            
Pericom matte Sn
SnBi
SnAgCu annealing   260C  
Philips NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnAgCu annealing SnAgCu
SnPb
245-260C 260C
Phoenix Contact Sn over Ni     SnAgCu
SnPb
250-260C  
Plextor            
PLX Technology            
PNY Technologies            
Power Integrations matte Sn     SnPb 245-260C 260C
ProMOS Technologies            
Pulse Engineering matte Sn over Ni
SnAgCu
  Ni barrier SnAg
SnAgCu
SnCu
260C  
Quantum/DLT            
Radiall Sn          
Raltron Electronics       SnAgCu 260C  
Ramtron            
Raychem         260C  
Rectron Ag
Ni
Sn
    SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
Renesas Technology Corporation (was Hitachi Semiconductor) Au
NiPdAu
Sn
SnBi
SnCu
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnAgCuBi
SnPb
SnZnBi
245-260C 260C
RF Micro Devices matte Sn     SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Ricoh SnAg
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
      260C 260C
Rogers Corporation            
Rohm Au over Ni
Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
    SnAgBiCu
SnAgCu
SnPb
260C 260C
Rubycon Sn
SnBi
         
Samsung SnBi SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Samtec Au
Ni
Pd over Ni
matte Sn
    SnAgCu 260C 260C
SanDisk            
Sanyo Ag
Au
NiPdAu
Sn
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
245-260C 260C
SaRonix Au
matte Sn
SnAgCu
SnCu
annealing   260C  
Schurter       SnPb 253C 260C
Scientific Conversion       SnPb 240C  
Semtech matte Sn     SnPb 250-260C  
Sensirion         235C  
Sensitron Semiconductor       SnPb    
Sharp NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnBi
SnAgCu   SnPb 250C  
Shindengen            
Sigmatel Sn       260C  
Silicon Laboratories            
Silicon Storage Technology (SST) NiPdAu
matte Sn
NiAu
SnAgCu
       
Siliconix Sn          
Simtek matte Sn   annealing   260C  
Sipex            
Sirenza Microdevices            
SiRF         260C  
Skyworks Au
Sn
      250-260C  
SMSC            
Sony            
Souriau            
ST Microelectronics NiPdAu
matte Sn
SnAgCu   SnAgCu
SnPb
245C  
Stackpole Electronics Sn
SnCu
         
Steward Sn over Ni     SnAg 260C  
Summit Microelectronics NiPdAu       260C  
Sunon            
Supertex matte Sn       245-260C  
TDK         255-260C  
Texas Instruments NiPdAu
Pd over Ni
matte Sn
SnAgCu     250-260C  
Torex Semiconductor            
Toshiba Ag
Au
NiPdAu
Sn
SnAg
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
SnAgCu   SnAg
SnAgCu
SnCu
SnPb
250 to 260C  
Transwitch            
Trenton            
TT Electronics Sn
Sn over Ni
SnAgCu
    SnPb 260C 260C
Tundra       SnAgCu 260C  
Tusonix            
TXC       SnAgCu 260C  
Tyco Electronics Sn
Sn over Ni
         
United Chemi-Con Sn
SnBi
      240-250C  
ValueRam            
Vectron            
Venkel Sn          
Via Technologies   SnAgCu        
Vishay Ag
AgPd
Au
Ni
NiPdAu
matte Sn
Sn over Ni
SnAg
SnAgCu
SnBi
SnCu
SnAgCu     260C  
W J Communications NiPdAu       260C  
Weitronic            
Wickmann            
WIMA           280C
Winbond            
Wolfson Microelectronics matte Sn          
Xilinx matte Sn SnAgCu   SnPb 245-260C  
Yageo Sn       250-255C  
Zarlink Semiconductor matte Sn SnAgCu   SnPb 260C  
Zetex matte Sn     SnAgCu
SnPb
260C  
Zilog matte Sn     SnAgCu 255C  
ZMD            
             

References: [48, pages 200-205]


Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Printed Circuit Boards (PCB's) (revised 2/15/2005)

http://www.leadfreesoldering.com/ Interconnection Technology Research Institute (ITRI) OSP (organic surface protectant), Ni/I-Au (nickel/immersion gold), I-Ag (immersion silver), Sn (tin), and Ni/Pd (nickel/palladium). NiAu finish immersion silver better than OSP for hole fill tin organic soldering preservative (OSP) doesn't withstand multiple heating cycles well Electroless nickel-immersion gold (ENIG)

fillet lifting with tin-lead HASL & Pb-free wave solder Organic solderability preservative (OSP)

References: [48, pages 28, 31]


Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Connectors (written 2/10/2005)

Sn or Sn-Au connector terminations References: [48, pages 203]

Reliability of Lead-Free Electronics (revised 2/15/2005)

http://www.leadfreesoldering.com/ Reliability concerns with lead-free technologies include: Damaging components by high soldering temperatures (immediate, intermittent, and latent damage).

"Popcorning" of components.

Warping of components.

Aging of component finishes.

Aging of contact surfaces in connectors, switches, and relays.

Forming intermetallics between component leads and the solder.

Damaging printed circuit boards (PCB's) by high soldering temperatures (immediate, intermittent, and latent damage).

Cracking of plated-through-holes (PTH's) and vias.

Blistering and delamination of PCB's.

Warping of PCB's.

Aging of PCB finishes.

Aging of contact surfaces on PCB's.

Forming intermetallics between PCB holes/pads and the solder.

Durability of solder joints. Lead-free solder joints may have equal, better or poorer fatigue resistance during temperature cycling depending on the solder, maximum and minimum temperatures, and the cycle time.

Tin whiskers.

References: [48, pages 25, 27-30]


Other Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Components (written 1/2/2005)


Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Plastics (written 1/2/2005)


Other Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Materials (written 1/2/2005)


WHAT ELSE OUR COMPANY/ ORGANIZATION MUST DO

Purchasing Concerns (written 1/2/2005)


Stock Control (written 1/2/2005)


Vendor Policies for Identifying Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Components (revised 4/2/2005)

One big problem for manufacturers will be identifying lead-free and RoHS-compliant components on the manufacturing floor. Some vendors are giving these components new part numbers, maybe adding a suffix or changing the package code. Some vendors are using temporary designators while they convert their product lines to completely lead-free. But a few vendors are only promising that a given part number will be lead-free after a certain date code--a tracking nightmare for their distributors and customers. And some companies are considering just letting low-volume products go end-of-life (EOL) instead of bothering to convert them to lead-free. Then, if we can't find suitable drop-in replacements for these parts, our only choices may be to redesign a product to use different lead-free/ RoHS-compliant components, or to take it off the European market by July 1, 2006. The following table summarizes various manufacturers' stated policies for identifying their lead-free and RoHS-compliant products, along with links to the sources for this information.

Company Part
Number
Part
Marking
Part
Date Code
Packaging
Marking
Packaging
Date Code
3M       "RC" in run number  
Actel "X79" suffix        
Adam Tech "RS" suffix if wasn't lead-free      
Advanced Interconnections new part number if wasn't lead-free     on labels  
Advanced Linear Devices "L" suffix        
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) new part number        
Agere Microsystems "L" prefix        
Agilent Technologies (was Hewlett-Packard Semiconductor) maybe new part number maybe dot before date code   maybe green dot  
Allegro "-T" suffix        
Alliance Semiconductor "N" or "F" suffix        
Alpha Semiconductor-- see
   Sipex.

         
Altera "N" suffix        
American Technical Ceramics          
Ambient Technologies-- see
   Intel.

         
AMI Semiconductor new part number     "RoHS compliant" or "GREEN"  
AMP-- see
   Tyco Electronics.

         
Amphenol        
Anadigics "U", "R", or "G" suffix or "U"      
Analog Devices "Z" suffix "#"    
API Delevan usually "R" suffix        
Arcotronics maybe new part number   maybe date code    
Arizona Microtek "+" after package code "+"      
Aromat new part number        
Artesyn          
ATI Technologies new part number        
Atmel temperature grade, "Y" or "W" suffix      
Austria Microsystems       or "Pb-free"  
AVX maybe new part number     or lot number
Axicom     after certain date code    
BC Components-- see
   Vishay.

         
Bel Fuse          
BI Technologies maybe "LF" suffix     RoHS-compliance label  
Bourns maybe suffix     or "Pb-free"  
Burr-Brown-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
C&D Technologies   or      
C&K new part number     "RoHS"  
Caliber Electronics       Pb-free label  
California Eastern Labs (CEL) "-A" suffix dot or underline   "Pb FREE T."  
California Micro Devices "G" suffix "G"      
Cascade Semiconductor-- see
   Cypress.

         
Catalyst Semiconductor new package code        
Central Semiconductor "LEAD FREE" suffix      
Cera-Mite-- see
   Vishay.

         
Cerdelinx Technologies-- see
   Lattice Semiconductor.

         
Cherry Semiconductor-- see
   ON Semiconductor.

         
Chipcon         by lot number
Chips and Technologies-- see
   Intel.

         
Cirrus Logic "Z" suffix "Z"   "Z"  
Clare         after certain kit code from a manufacturing site
Coilcraft "L" somewhere if wasn't lead-free        
Comtech Aha "G" somewhere        
Condor new part number        
Conec        
Cooper Electronic Technologies maybe "-R" suffix   by date code   by date code
Copal Electronics          
Corning Frequency Control   if room    
Corollary-- see
   Intel.

         
Coto Technology       "Pb free" after certain date code
Cree Lighting          
Crystal-- see
   Cirrus Logic.

         
Crystal Clear Technology new part number        
CTS new part number        
Cypress "X" after package code "X"      
Dale-- see
   Vishay.

         
Dallas Semiconductor "+" suffix "+"      
Datel-- see
   C&D Technologies.

         
Dialight "F" suffix        
Dielectric Laboratories termination code        
Digital Quake-- see
   National Semiconductor.

         
Diodes, Inc. "-F" suffix        
Diotec        
Dominion Semiconductor-- see
   Toshiba.

         
Draloric-- see
   Vishay.

         
DSP Communications-- see
   Intel.

         
Dspfactory-- see
   AMI Semiconductor.

         
Ecliptek        
ECS International       Pb-free label  
Elantec Semiconductor-- see
   Intersil.

         
Electro-Films-- see
   Vishay.

         
Elpida "E" suffix        
EM Microelectronic "+" suffix "B" or white bar   "GREEN"  
Emosyn-- see
   SST.

         
Epcos          
Epson new part number        
ept   "LF" before date code   "Pb-free"  
Ericsson Power Modules     and R-state  
ERNI     by date code label  
ESTA-- see
   Vishay.

         
Euroquartz "R" in package number if wasn't lead-free        
Everbouquet     by date code   by lot number
Evox Rifa       "Lead free product"  
Exar "-F" suffix if wasn't lead-free "F" prefix on date code      
Exel Microelectronics-- see
   Rohm.

         
Fagor          
Fairchild "N" in part number   by date code and plant identifier    
Fair-Rite doesn't have "L" suffix     "RoHS Compliant", and "LF" prefix on lot number  
FCI new part number      
Ferroxcube          
Fox "LF" in product family        
Freescale (was Motorola) new part number        
Fujitsu "E1" suffix "E1"    
Gain Technology-- see
   SMSC.

         
General Instrument-- see
   Vishay.

         
General Semiconductors-- see
   Vishay.

         
Gennum "E1", "E2", or "E3" suffix "E1", "E2", or "E3"      
Giga-- see
   Intel.

         
Gould-- see
   AMI Semiconductor.

         
Gowanda Electronics "LF" after tolerance      
Graychip-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Grayhill "T" suffix        
GSI "G" somewhere "G" somewhere      
Halo Electronics "RL" or "LF" suffix        
Harris-- see
   Intersil.

         
Hiband Semiconductors-- see
   Cypress.

         
HiNT-- see
   PLX Technology.

         
Hitachi-- see
   Renasas Technology Corporation.

         
Holtek Semiconductor "#" somewhere by date code   "#" suffix on part number or date code  
IC Designs-- see
   Cypress.

         
iC-Haus         by assembly lot number
IC Works-- see
   Cypress.

         
Infineon Technologies   "G" prefix on date code    
Inmos-- see
   ST Microelectronics.

         
Innocomm-- see
   National Semiconductor.

         
Inova "G" suffix     "ROHS conform"  
Integrated Circuit Systems "LF" suffix "LF" or "L" somewhere      
Integrated Device Technology (IDT) "G" suffix on package code "G"    
Integrated Logic Systems-- see
   Simtek.

         
Intel new part number      
International Microcircuits-- see
   Cypress.

         
International Rectifier "PbF" suffix        
Intersil "Z" or "ZA" suffix "Z"    
IRC-- see
   TT Electronics.

         
ISSI package code        
ITOX new part number        
ITT Cannon       "GP"  
Ixys new part number   revision letter in date code, or after certain date code    
Jauch          
J W Miller "LF: suffix        
KEC Semiconductor       "/P"  
Kemet new part number        
Kendin Communications-- see
   Micrel.

         
Kingbright maybe "-F01" suffix "RoHS compliant"      
Kingston new part number        
KOA termination code        
Kota Microcircuits-- see
   Fairchild.

         
Lambda          
Lara Technology-- see
   Cypress.

         
Lattice Semiconductor "N" in package code        
Legerity "B" suffix "G" on revision line    
Level One-- see
   Intel.

         
Libit Signal Processing-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Linear Technology       "#PBF" or "#TRPBF"  
Liteon "N" package code      
Littlefuse new part number        
LSI Logic new part number        
Luxsonor Semiconductors-- see
   Cirrus Logic.

         
Macronix "G" suffix "G" suffix on 2nd line      
Matsushita-- see
   Panasonic.

         
Maxim "+" suffix "+"      
Maxtor new part number        
MCC       "PB-Free"  
Memsic       "PB-Free"  
Mediamatics-- see
   National Semiconductor.

         
Meritec "P" somewhere        
Methode Electronics "G" or "W" suffix        
Micrel new product name marking      
Micro Commercial Components "-TP" or "-BP" suffix        
Microchip "G" suffix    
Micron package code        
Microsemi     after certain date code "lead-free" or "RoHS-compatible" after certain date code
Midcon "LFx" suffix        
MiLAN       label  
Mindspeed "L" or "G" somewhere if room    
Mini-Circuits "+" suffix     "+" and  
Mitsubishi Electric "P" suffix        
Mobilian-- see
   Intel.

         
Molex maybe new part number      
Motorola-- see
   ON Semiconductor and Freescale.
         
M-Systems "-P" suffix        
MTI      
Murata new part number        
National Semiconductor "NOPB" in spec field "RA" to "ZZ" die run code   "Pb-free"  
NEC Electronics "-A" suffix dot or underline   "Pb FREE T."  
NEMKO "LF" suffix        
Netchip Technology-- see
   PLX Technology.

         
NetSilicon new part number        
NIC Components "F" suffix     or "RoHS WEEE Pb-free"  
Nichicon maybe part number     "Pb-free"  
NKK Switches new part number        
Nordic Semiconductor "G" suffix        
Novacap termination code        
North American Capacitor Company-- see
   Vishay.

         
Oasis Silicon Systems   "RoHS"    
Oki Semiconductor package code        
Omni Vision "L" suffix        
OMRON       "PF" or "Ro"  
ON Semiconductor "G" suffix     "PB FREE PLTG"  
Opnext "-A" suffix   by date code   by date code
OSRAM Semiconductor maybe "Z" suffix     "Lead(Pb)-free" or "RoHS Compliant"  
Oxford Semiconductor "G" suffix        
Panasonic maybe part number maybe small dot   maybe on label  
Paradigm Technology-- see
   Ixys.

         
PennEngineering new part number        
Pericom maybe "E" suffix "E" or dash over device type      
Philips   "lead-free" if room    
Phoenix Contact maybe part number     "RoHS WEEE COMPLIANT"  
Plextor     by date code   by date code
PLX Technology "G" or "F" suffix        
PNY Technologies new part number        
Power Integrations "N" suffix        
Powersmart-- see
   Microchip.

         
Powertrends-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Precision Monolithics (PMI)-- see
   Analog Devices.

         
ProMOS Technologies new package code        
Pulse Engineering
  (position paper G213)
"NL" suffix        
QT Optoelectronics-- see
   Fairchild.

         
Quality Semiconductor-- see
   Integrated Device Technology (IDT).

         
Quantum/DLT     by date code   by date code
Radia Communications-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Radiall        
Raltron Electronics      
Ramtron "-G" suffix        
Raychem "F" somewhere        
Rectron "-Z" suffix     "RoHS compliant (Pb free)" on green barcode label  
Renesas Technology Corporation (was Hitachi Semiconductor) new part number     "Pb-free T."  
RF Micro Devices          
Ricoh "Fx", "P", or "F" suffix        
RFWaves-- see
   Vishay.

         
Rocket Chips-- see
   Xilinx.

         
Roederstein-- see
   Vishay.

         
Rogers Corporation "NL" or "QFS" somewhere        
Rohm "F" somewhere     "F" on labels  
Rubycon          
Samsung package type        
Samtec connector series        
SanDisk     by date code   by date code
Sanyo maybe "-E" suffix        
SaRonix          
Scanlogic-- see
   Cypress.

         
Schurter maybe "BF" suffix     or "RoHS compliant"  
Scientific Conversion "LF" suffix     green or blue mark  
Seiko Epson-- see
   Epson.

         
Semtech "T" suffix      
Sensirion          
Sensitron Semiconductor "G" suffix        
Sfernice-- see
   Vishay.

         
SGS-Thomson-- see
   ST Microelectronics.

         
Sharp new part number     "LEAD FREE"  
Shindengen new part number        
Sicom-- see
   Intersil.

         
Siemens-- see
   Infineon Technologies.

         
Sigmatel "G" suffix        
Signetics-- see
   Philips.

         
Silicon Laboratories package code        
Silicon Storage Technology (SST) "E" or "F" suffix on package code        
Silicon Systems-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Siliconix "-E3" suffix        
Simtek "F" in package code        
Sipex "-L" suffix        
Sirenza Microdevices "Z" suffix        
SiRF          
Skyworks "LF" suffix        
SMSC package code        
Solidum-- see
   Integrated Device Technology (IDT).

         
Sony new part number        
Souriau new part number        
Spectrol-- see
   Vishay.

         
Sprague-- see
   Vishay.

         
ST Microelectronics   "E" if room   "ECOPACK"  
Stackpole Electronics new part number        
Steward "-10" suffix        
Summit Microelectronics "R", "L", "M", or "V" suffix        
Sunon "GN" suffix        
Supertex "-G" suffix underline last line   "GREEN/Pb-FREE"  
Synad Technologies-- see
   ST Microelectronics.

         
TDK maybe part number        
Telcom Semiconductor-- see
   Microchip.

         
Telefunken-- see
   Vishay.

         
Teltone-- see
   Clare.

         
Temic Semiconductors-- see
   Atmel.

         
Texas Instruments maybe new part number      
Torex Semiconductor       barcode labels lack "Pb"  
Toshiba maybe "F", "G", or "Q" suffix     maybe "Lead(Pb)-Free" or "Lead(Pb)-Free Finish"  
Transitor-- see
   Vishay.

         
Transwitch new part number     "Lead-free"  
Trenton new part number        
TT Electronics        
Tundra "Y" or "V" suffix        
Tusonix "LF" suffix        
TXC maybe new part number     "G"  
Tyco Electronics new part number if wasn't lead-free   by date code by date code or lot number
United Chemi-Con new part number        
Unitrode-- see
   Texas Instruments.

         
Usar Systems-- see
   Semtech.

         
ValueRam new part number        
Vectron new part number        
Venkel "Sn" in termination code        
Via Technologies   "G" somewhere      
Vishay new part number      
Vitramon-- see
   Vishay.

         
Vivid Semiconductor-- see
   National Semiconductor.

         
VLSI Vision-- see
   ST Microelectronics.

         
W J Communications "G" suffix        
Weitronic "U" suffix        
Westbay Semiconductor-- see
   Intel.

         
Wickmann maybe new part number        
WIMA          
Winbond new part number        
Wolfson Microelectronics "G" somewhere        
Xemod-- see
   Sirenza Microdevices.

         
Xicor-- see
   Intersil.

         
Xilinx "G" in package code "G" in package code      
Yageo "L" suffix     "LFP"  
Zarlink Semiconductor package assembly option    
Zetex "U" prefix temporarily     "Pb-free plating"  
Zilog "G" suffix        
ZMD "G1" suffix        
           


Manufacturing Process Concerns (written 1/2/2005)

During the transition to lead-free manufacturing, a manufacturer may need to produce both lead-containing and lead-free products for awhile. Because of the very-low levels of lead permitted in RoHS-compliant products, this will probably require segregating lead-free parts from lead-containing parts, and maybe completely-separate production lines.

Tin-lead solder melts at about 183 degrees Celsius (63Sn37Pb eutectic alloy). Reflow soldering is usually done at 210-215 degrees Celsius, with a maximum of 225-230 degrees Celsius. Wave soldering is usually done at 225-250 degrees Celsius.

Most of the lead-free solders require reflow soldering to be done at 240-250 degrees Celsius. NEMI recommends 255-260 degrees Celsius.


Repairing Lead-Free and RoHS-Compliant Electronics (written 2/11/2005)


Registration, Records, Reports, and Other Documentation Concerns (revised 1/18/2005)

The documentation to prove that products are lead-free is another headache, that isn't covered by the RoHS Directive.

Testing for RoHS-Compliance (written 2/10/2005)


dBi Corporation was a one-man test house (testing laboratory) based in Lexington, Kentucky, testing a wide variety of commercial electronic products for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), electromagnetic interference (EMI), and electrostatic discharge (ESD) under its ISO 17025 accreditation. dBi was founded in Winchester, Kentucky in 1995 by Donald R. Bush, shortly after he retired from 30 years service with IBM Lexington's/ Lexmark's EMC Lab. John R. Barnes, who'd worked with Don at IBM Lexington and Lexmark, bought dBi in 2002 after Don's death, and moved the company to Lexington, Kentucky. John closed dBi at 11:59pm EDT on September 30, 2013, because ObamaCrap had increased operating expenses to the point that we could no longer afford to remain in business.

We'd like to thank all of the clients who chose dBi to test their products from 1995 to 2013. Below is a brief summary of our accomplishments during the 18 years we were in business.

From 1995 to 2001, under Don Bush's ownership and operation, dBi:

From 2002 to 2013, under John Barnes' ownership and operation, dBi:

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Last revised November 6, 2005.