Ever have one of those situations where there really aren’t any good answers? There may be right answers, but not necessarily any that fit well to the specific situation or are all that convenient.
The question at hand relates to packaging and shipping small quantities of large ICs to your prototype house. If you buy them in small quantities, go ahead and use that packaging to ship to Screaming Circuits. That’s not a problem. The problem (and this question) comes when you need to purchase a bunch of them but only need to use a few at a time. This is primarily an issue for parts that come in trays.
Let’s say you have a 23 x 23mm BGA or QFP that came in a tray with 60 parts. You need to ship five of the parts for an assembly order at Screaming Circuits. We tell you not to ship them loose. You don’t want to risk in-transit loss or damage to all 60 parts by shipping the full tray. What do you do?
For leadless parts like BGAs, LGAs and QFNs, you can carefully pack each one in a small individual anti-static bag and then wrap them in bubble wrap. You can’t do that with leaded parts like QFPs. Don’t do it. Bent leads don’t solder well. And, don’t put more than one BGA in an antic-static bag. Missing solder balls won’t solder either.
For all types of chips, you could take a band saw to a spare empty tray and cut it down to the size you need. Or, better yet, you can find someone that sells JEDEC Matrix IC Trays and see if they have any that meet your size and capacity requirements. www.topline.tv or www.practicalcomponents.com are good places to start. That won’t help much if it’s noon on Tuesday and you need to make a shipping deadline of 3 pm. But it will likely help for future projects.
If you do choose to send in your full tray, we will treat all of the parts with care, bake if needed, properly reseal and pack them for the return trip to you.