SnapShot® Board Level EMI Shield

XGR Technologies SnapShot EMI shields are revolutionary, multi-cavity shields that solve many of the problems and challenges associated with today’s board level shielding technologies.

The shields consist of a lightweight, metallized plastic material that is thermoformed into virtually any design. The shields have a non-conductive, polyetherimide inner surface and conductive, tin plated outer surface resulting in exceptional shielding performance in an ultra-lightweight and low profile solution.

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Why Use SnapShot®?

Superior Shielding Effectiveness

SnapShot board level shields provide superior shielding effectiveness when compared to traditional frame and lid style EMI shields

Extremely Rugged and Durable

  • The Snapshot board level EMI solution is proven rugged and durable in extreme conditions
  • The DC resistance across each solder sphere to shield connection has been extensively testing, meeting stringent XGR Technologies requirements, across the following methods and standards:
    1. Mechanical Shock (JEDEC JESD 22-B104-B)
    2. Bump (IEC 60068-2-29)
    3. Vibration (IEC 60068-2-64)
    4. Thermal Shock (MIL-STD-883E Method 1010.7B)
    5. Accelerated Aging (85°C / 85 RH)
  • SnapShot has been proven in the field for nearly two decades in the most demanding applications, including:
    1. Military Handheld Radios
    2. Military Drones
    3. Military Avionics
    4. Military Weapons Systems
    5. Industrial Handheld Computers and Scanners
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Installs After Reflow

Installs After Reflow

  • Solder sphere attachment mechanism enables unobstructed visual or automated optical inspection and re-work
  • Note the solder sphere layout in this GPS watch PCB after reflow.
  • SnapShot is easily installed AFTER the reflow and inspection process

Removable and Replaceable

If necessary, the shield is removable and replaceable multiple times without damage to the board or components; NO additional heat steps or soldering required

Designed to Virtually Any Shape

  • The thermoforming process in a custom mold for each application enables maximum design freedom
  • SnapShot fits your board layout rather than you having to lay out your board to accommodate a square or rectangular EMI can:
    1. Radii/circles
    2. Angles
    3. Irregular lines
    4. True multi-cavity
    5. Perforations for heat dissipation
Designed to Virtually Any Shape
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Multi-Cavity Capability

  • Solder spheres attached to the ground plane enable complete isolation of adjacent cavities
  • Shielding effectiveness between cavities equals the performance from cavity to external

Saves Valuable PCB Real Estate

SnapShot technology can save up to 50% in trace width required between shielded cavities

Extremely Lightweight

  • SnapShot board level EMI shields are the lightest weight board level shields available
  • The unique material has 6x lower density than typical steel EMI cans
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Low Profile

  • SnapShot is the LOWEST PROFILE board level shield available.
  • The inner surface of the SnapShot shield is non-conductive, polyetherimide
  • SnapShot EMI shields require NO clearance between the top of the component and the inner surface of the shield
  • Designing the shield to have an interference fit with the top of the IC results in low profile and enhanced thermal dissipation.

How It's Installed

The shields are attached to the PCB via a patented attachment mechanism utilizing individual BGA solder spheres. The shield is installed when oval holes around the shielded cavity perimeter “snap” over solder spheres that have been reflowed to the ground plane.


The diameter of the solder sphere is larger than the valley between the shield walls. This durably connects (snaps) the shield to the board and ground plane.


After the solder spheres are permanently soldered to the ground plane during reflow, the shield is aligned with an installation tool and pressed down into place.


The shield flexes as the holes around the cavity perimeter are forced over the solder spheres with the use of an installation tool. 

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Once the shield passes the midpoint of the sphere, the natural forces pull the shield down to the board and exert continuous force to keep the shield in place.

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Installation Tooling

An installation tool with “teeth” is used to press the shield over the solder spheres and onto the board. The individual teeth press the shield between solder spheres to ensure a secure attachment at each sphere.

Installation tools are machined aluminum which are designed and manufactured by XGR Technologies.

Various methods of alignment, such as alignment pins as shown here, can be used to ensure an accurate and precise installation every time.

Installation Example

Process Flow

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How It's Made

SnapShot EMI shields are made by thermoforming a proprietary engineered material. The base material is polyetherimide, which is well known for it’s combination of low weight, high strength, and high temperature capability.

XGR Technologies utilizes a proprietary plating process to create a conductive, tin plated surface on one side of the material. This becomes the outer, conductive surface of he SnapShot board level shield.

Note, the inner surface remains non-conductive allowing for minimal to zero clearance required between board components and the shield.


The process to make your custom shields begins with close collaboration between you and the XGR engineering team. In this collaboration, customer design files are reviewed by the XGR engineering team, ideas for optimization are discussed, and cavities to be shielded are identified.

Next, XGR will create a 3D model of the proposed shield(s) along with optimal placement of solder spheres along a ground trace. Once the design is finalized including complete interference checks, the mold(s) are created and finished parts delivered to the customer.


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