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Test Sockets For ICs & Other Packaged Devices

Most devices we make test sockets for are either packaged IC devices which are encapsulated in a plastic lead frame with an integrated metal interconnect system or their smaller counterparts; Chip scale (WLCSP/CSP) which are essentially Die Level products with interconnect bumps but no plastic molding otherwise.  Other custom packages include ceramic image sensor devices or Lab-on-chip biomedic devices.

RTI can make a socket for any size IC device with pitch <0.3mm.  We also make sockets for large devices with very high pin counts.  RTI IC Test Sockets are available with a wide range of sizes and features including extreme temperature conditions, Kelvin testing, low inductance,and impedence considerations.
 
  • SOIC, SO, PQFP, Flat Pack:  These packages have their leads projecting from the edges of the plastic package, sometimes they are formed into a “gull wing” shape, other times they are flat.  
    • RTI sockets are designed to clamp the leads between the spring pin and the lead allowing the device to float in the pocket.  Design options can support the package in various ways.  These packages offer the maximum pen top apertures when F/A applications are needed.  
    • All Lid options are applicable to this package type
    • We may use a floating base or non-floating base socket for this package type depending on the requirements and especially the lead pitch.  For larger pitch devices, we can provide a divider between each pin which helps to keep the pins straight
    • Large area devices we also specify a stiffener plate to prevent PCB flex under the socket
  • QFN, LGA, LCC:  These devices have their leads on the bottom surface and are either flush with the package or are formed leads all in the same plane.  These devices may or may not have large pads in the central area of the bottom used for ground or thermal relief
    • We normally can use the non-floating base socket types for these packages, this type of socket aligns the package in the pockey by the body of the package itself.  So for small devices with poor tolerance, this can be a challenge.
    • All Lid options are applicable to this package type
    • Open top lids will cover the edge of the package to press it into the socket base, if you have a die nearly as large as the package, consider a WLCSP socket or if the device gets thinned when decapsulated, consider the adjustable lid
  • Castellated Contacts:   This is a special type of contact that resembles a plated thru hole cut in half, each contact has a half circle notch.  Packages with this type of contact resemble the ramparts of a castle when turned on its side.
    • If the contact has sufficient metal on the bottom, RTI can treat it like a QFN device and any lid type can be used
    • If contact can only be made from the side, a custom socket with clamping action is required.
  • BGA:  These devices have an array of bumps on the bottom that serve as the contact pins.  
    • RTI uses Floating base sockets for BGA devices to ensure proper alignment of the pins over the spring pin contacts.
    • All Lid options are applicable to this package type 
    • High Pin Count devices should use the adjustable lid type either as a dedicated lid or over an F/A lid due to its ability to apply high closing force.
    • Very high pin count sockets will also incorporate stainless steel components and oversize handle on the adjustable lid to provide additional mechanical advantage and withstand the forces without bending or warping
    • Most high pin count BGA sockets are recommended to also use a stiffener plate to prevent flexing of the PCB due to the force of the spring pins in the closed socket  
  • CSP, WLCSP:  These devices are similar to BGA devices but much smaller.  They lack the plastic encapsulant and substrate interconnect layers of traditional BGA device and the balls are built directly onto the device.  They have the appearance of a bare die with BGA bumps on the bottom.  Normally the ball pitch is 0.5mm or smaller and the pin count is low to moderate.
    • RTI uses floating plate sockets for this type of device to ensure proper alignment of the balls over the spring pins.
    • RTI offers Quartz and Sapphire window lids for this type of socket
    • Window lids offer 100% visibility of the device for optical fault localization techniques.
    • Other lid types can also be used for non open top applications
  • SMT:  Surface mount devices are often only 2 or 3 terminals and include diodes, transistors and passive devices like capacitors, inductors and resistors.  These devices are often very small (as small as 1mm).
    • These small devices are ideal for Multi-Site sockets to hold many devices at one time (up to 64 or more)
    • Multi Site sockets can be designed for more than one device size allowing for one socket fits all solutions
    • Most lid types are available for this type of device, clip on lid with spring loaded pressure plate is recommended
    • Compliant pad in lid can be used to protect delicate devices