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Land Grid Array Socket Design for Minimizing Pin Damage During Device Insertion and Removal

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000169628D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Apr-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Apr-24
Document File: 7 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a design that helps to reduce pin damage in land grid array sockets.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 33% of the total text.

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Land Grid Array Socket Design for Minimizing Pin Damage During Device Insertion and Removal

Land Grid Array (LGA) socket technology has become mainstream in the computer industry as a means for allowing Integrated Circuits (IC's) especially Central Processing Units (CPUs) to be connected to motherboards in a non permanent manner. The use of a socket allows the same motherboard design to support variations in CPU configurations and easy upgrade and/or replacement of CPUs. This flexibility makes the use of sockets an attractive feature.

    IC's using LGA packages are different from their predecessors in that they do not have any pins, instead they have a pattern of contacts or lands on the bottom side of the package. The socket which the IC plugs into contains an array of extremely fine contacts which connect with the lands on the bottom side of the package. This configuration makes for an extremely robust processor package, but the contacts in the socket are easily damaged because they need to be exposed so that they can connect to the essentially flat surface on the bottom of the IC. The potential for damage occurs when inserting and removing the IC from the socket, mainly due to the fact that the part can be misplaced or inserted/removed at an angle which can damage the socket contacts. This design provides a method for supporting the IC during insertion and removal and allowing the part to be inserted flat hence reducing the risk of damage.

    This solution removes some of the risk of damage to the socket contacts by splitting the socket into two parts. The base of the socket contains the contact field and 4 locating pins for the socket cover. The pattern of the locating pins is such that fitting the cover can only be performed in one orientation hence preventing misplug of the top cover onto the socket base. The socket cover is designed to hold the IC. This means that the IC is never manually connected to the pin field in the socket base. The IC is fitted into the socket cover by means of slides which ensure that the IC aligns correctly. The cover can then be installed on to the base by locating the cover over the base guide pins. Once located, a cam and slider mechanism on the socket cover is used to draw the two parts together and make contact between the IC and the contact field.

    Some types of IC socket designs are hinged at one end such that the socket base and cover are permanently attached to each other. To install an Integrated Circuit (IC) device into this socket type, the cover requires to be opened and the IC placed onto the pin field. This requirement that the IC has to be placed directly on the pin field is a cause for concern due to the possibility of damaging the pins in the base of the socket. Similarly removing IC's from the socket can also result in pin damage if great care is not exercised. If the socket is damaged, there is typically no way to repair the circuit board, which...