It was a nightmare to do this, but it's done successfully. The new ES9018 (Sabre32) is now sitting on the Buffalo board. The original 9008 was removed using an hot air rework station. Before lifting the 9008, I have to remove 4 decoupling cap surrounding the ESS.
Since the Sabre32 is pin compatible to the 9008, no additional adjustment needed and just solder the 9018 back will be fine. Here is the removed 9008 and the 9018,
As the Buffalo board is stuffed with other components, soldering the new 9018 back is a bit tricky. I first align the chip and solder 4 corner pin to hold the chip in place. Then I started to "flood" the pins with solder along the 4 sides of the chip. Finally, I started to blow hot air to the sides with the rework station and suck off excessive solder using a small desoldering pump. My pump is made by Goot and the result is great.
And here is the board with new chip. Not bad, huh? :-P
I need a break after doing this and hook it up again to the discrete I/V later.
Impression about this new chip will follow.