During the last few years the drop test has become more and more important for electronic handheld components. Drop test reliability for lead-free solder interconnects is an extreme challenge today. Thus, the need for improved micro structural diagnostics of new material combinations and crack detection methods has increased. The target of this paper is to summarize detection and analysis methods for solder joint cracks, material characterization [1] and preparation methods of assembled printed circuit boards (PCB) after a drop test to completely understand lead-free solder interconnect reliability in fine pitch ball grid array packages (FBGA). In particular, we will introduce the outstanding advantages of embedded cross-sections combined with ion beam polishing (IBP), dye- or rather resin-penetration, selective tin etch and micro-hardness measurements.

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