While QFN (quad flatpack, no leads) and DFN (dual flatpack, no leads) packaged parts are becoming more and more common in new component releases, they aren't getting much easier to use. The QFN form factor delivers a number of advantages over other SMT package form factors. It is generally a smaller part and, with the center pad, can have better grounding and thermal properties. These advantages are partially offset by layout and assembly difficulties. But by following a few simple guidelines, you can use the parts with good confidence. Check the layout guidelines in the component applications notes. Segment your solder stencil opening for the center pad. Make a custom component library for your CAD package if you need to. Then Design away. Read this white paper from Screaming Circuits for hints and tip on pcb layout with QFN packaged parts.
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