Pin Grid Array Sockets

Written by Jarret Ewanek
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Pin grid array is a type of packaging technology where the pins are located at the bottom of the package. These pins are inserted into holes on the printed circuit board, and are often housed in sockets for easy insertion. These devices help to add function to microprocessors with smaller components. PGA packages can reach a maximum lead count of up to 600 leads per package.

When searching for PGA sockets you have a number of different things to consider. One of the first things to consider is pin count. The number of pins in your system determines the connection rate. These pins are separated in different packages, and the number of pins should not exceed your operating system's capacity. It's a good idea to check with the manufacturer to make sure you don't overload your system.

Things to Look for in PGA Sockets

Another thing to look for in any socket is insertion force. Insertion force is a measure of how difficult it is to insert the socket into the printed circuit board. Most sockets come in zero insertion force or low insertion force varieties. The lower the insertion force, the more expensive the device. When you consider how much information is contained both in the socket and on the printed circuit board, it's obvious why most manufacturers prefer the zero insertion force type of socket.

When ordering sockets you need to determine the size of your array. Pin grid arrays typically range anywhere from 5X5 to 26X26, but variations do exist. In addition, you want to consider the type of pin used in your socket. There are standard pins, terminal pins, and wire wrap pins. The type of pin you choose helps to determine the procedure for connecting the socket to the circuit board. Pin length also helps to determine speed. Shorter pins increase the speed and efficiency of the overall operating system.

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