>Also thanks for the recommendations on the PCB houses... I got 2 boards back
>from Advance Circuits last week and they are great.  Few day turnaround and I
>didn't even have to speak with a human about the process.  They get my thumbs

         Hey all!

         I've been using Advanced Circuits for the past year for both 
prototype and production runs, and the service and support have been 
absolutely outstanding - on the number of occasions when I've had to ask 
questions or put in expedited orders, everyone I have talked to on the 
phone was extremely courteous and knowledgeable, and made you feel like you 
were a VIP customer even if you were ordering only two units. I've never 
seen this overall level of customer support before in dealing with any 
other company - two thumbs up. :>

         One thing I have seen from AC, though, that I've not seen from 
anyone else is an oxide finish that they apply under the LPI mask to make 
it adhere to the copper better. This results in traces on the outer layers 
showing up in 'black' rather than 'shiny green' like everyone else's 
boards. It does kind of look cool, but I've never seen this outside of AC's 
boards. Talking to the head CAM guy there yielded the specific explanation:

         "That is actually an oxide finish to promote soldermask 
adhesion.  We may be
phasing it out shortly, however, so don't be alarmed if you stop seeing it."

         Out of curiosity, has anyone else ever seen this done before?

-- Matt

P.S. JaMi, et all -- your recent BGA discussion has been extremely 
interesting! I'm very soon needing to do some BGA parts (albeit only 256 
ball TI parts!) and this have given me a lot of info to digest! Kudos to 
all who commented in this thread!

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