Tin whiskers have been an issue with electrical devices as far back as the vacuum tube era. Different processing techniques are used to reduce tin whisker growth including specific annealing processes, the addition of elements such as copper, nickel and lead. Traditionally, lead has been added to slow down the growth of tin whiskers. In the early 2000s, the EU banned the use of lead in most consumer electronics. The ban is covered as part of the RoHS program. Products will long field life cycles have once again started to see more tin whisker growth problems.
Triad Semiconductor supports RoHS and non-RoHS compliant packaging options. Long product life cycle applications in defense, industrial and medical markets may seek to have component packaging options that contain lead to mitigate tin whisker growth. Please contact a Triad ASIC application engineer to discuss your application and determine the best packaging options for your design.