Patent application serial number 365931 has not been assigned to a company or institution.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In the electronics and semiconductor industries, systems used to test and qualify integrated circuit (IC) chips during the manufacturing process are conventionally referred to as 'test systems.' FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a test system 100. The test system 100 includes an electrical connector for providing an electrical connection between an IC chip 110 (which can be referred to as a 'Device Under Test' or 'DUT') and a printed circuit board (PCB).
"The test system 100 can include a socket body 120 defining a plurality of cavities 121. Each cavity of the plurality of cavities 121 can receive one of a plurality of spring probes 130. The test system 100 can also include a socket retainer 124.
"FIGS. 3-5 depict the spring probe 130. As shown in FIG. 3, the spring probe 130 can include a shell 331, a first plunger 340, and a second plunger 350. The shell 331 can be tubular, and at least a portion of the first and second plungers 340 and 350 can be disposed within the shell 331. The socket body 120 and the socket retainer 124 can position the spring probes 130 such that the first plungers 340 electrically connect to conductive pads on the IC chip 110, and the second plungers 350 electrically connect to conductive pads on the PCB.
"As shown in FIG. 4, the first plunger 340 can include a tip portion 441 that extends away from the shell 331. The first plunger 340 can also include a flange 443 that abuts the end of the shell 331 so that when a force is applied to the first plunger 340 toward the shell 331, the flange 443 pushes against the end of the shell 331 so that the first plunger 340 and the shell 331 move together. The second plunger 350 can include a tip portion 451 that extends outwardly from the shell 331.
"As shown in FIG. 5, the first plunger 340 can also include a tail portion 542 inserted into the shell 331 and attached to the shell 331 (e.g., using adhesive) so that the first plunger 340 and the shell 331 move together. The flange 443 can be disposed between the tip portion 441 and the tail portion 542. The second plunger 350 can also include a tail portion 552 inserted into the shell 331. The end of the shell 331 that receives the second plunger 350 can be crimped to retain the tail portion 552 of the second plunger 350 in the shell 331 so that the tail portion 552 is slidable within the shell 331. The tip portion 451 can extend outwardly from the shell 331 away from the tail portion 552.
"A spring 560 can be disposed between the two plungers 340 and 350. The spring 560 can be capable of exerting a force against each plunger 340 and 350 to bias the second plunger 350 outwardly from the shell 331 and away from the first plunger 340. The second plunger 350 can also be depressed inwardly into the shell 331 under a force directed inward against the spring 560. Thus, the first plunger 340 can be connected to the shell 331 to move with the shell 331, and the second plunger 350 can be slidable with respect to the shell 331.
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