News Column

Patent Issued for Insulated Metal Socket

September 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Zhou, Jiachun (Gilbert, AZ); Liu, Dexian (Jiangsu, CN); Soh, Siang (Milpitas, CA); Hahn, Brian (Gilbert, AZ); Li, Bizhao (Jiangsu, CN), filed on June 4, 2012, was published online on August 19, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8808010 is Interconnect Devices, Inc. (Kansas City, KS).

News editors obtained the following quote 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. 1-3 depict various views of a conventional test system 100, which can provide an electrical connection between an electronic device 110 (which can be an IC chip, and can also be referred to as a 'Device Under Test,' or 'DUT') and a printed circuit board (PCB) (not shown). The test system 100 can include a plurality of aligned connectors 140 (which can be spring probes) for providing an electrical connection between the electronic device 110 and the PCB. The test system 100 can further include a socket 130 and a socket retainer 120, each of which include a plurality of openings to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors 140, where the plurality of openings in the socket retainer 120 are configured to align with the plurality of openings in the socket 130. FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the test system 100, FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the test system 100--depicting the plurality of aligned connectors 140 aligned with at least a portion of the electronic device 110--and FIG. 3 depicts an enlargement of a portion of FIG. 2.

"The socket 130 and the socket retainer 120 in the test system 100 are constructed from composite plastic material to insulate each of the plurality of connectors 140 from the others.

"A further conventional test system 400 is depicted in FIGS. 4-6, where a portion of the socket assembly and the plurality of connectors 440 provide a coaxial structure. As with the test system 100, the test system 400 can include a plurality of aligned connectors 440 (which can be spring probes configured to operate in a coaxial structure) for providing an electrical connection between the electronic device 110 and the PCB. The test system 400 can include a top socket layer 430, a center socket layer 450, and a bottom socket layer 420. The top socket layer 430, the center socket layer 450, and the bottom socket layer 420 each include a plurality of openings for the plurality of aligned connectors 440, where the plurality of openings in the top socket layer 430, the center socket layer 450, and the bottom socket layer 420 are configured to align to accommodate the plurality of connectors 440 when the test system 400 is being used to provide electrical signals to the electronic device 110. FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the test system 400, FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the test system 400--depicting the plurality of aligned connectors 440 aligned with at least a portion of the electronic device 110--and FIG. 6 depicts an enlargement of a portion of FIG. 5.

"The top socket layer 430 and the bottom socket layer 420 in the test system 400 are constructed from composite plastic material, which can insulate each of the plurality of connectors 440 from the others. The center socket layer 450 is a conductive material such as a metal, and can provide a coaxial connection for a portion of the connection between the PCB and the electronic device 110, where the electrical impedance presented to a signal passing over the path associated with the connector 440 in the cavity provided by the center socket layer 450 (which can be grounded) is dependent upon the values of a cavity diameter D 475 and a connector diameter d 485. Unlike the center socket layer 450, the top socket layer 430 and the bottom socket layer 420 in the test system 400 do not conventionally provide a coaxial structure when combined with connector 440.

"An additional conventional test system 700 is depicted in FIGS. 7-9, where a portion of the socket assembly and the plurality of connectors 440 again provide a coaxial structure. As with the test system 400, the test system 700 can include a plurality of aligned connectors 440 (which again can be spring probes configured to operate in a coaxial structure). The test system 700 can include a socket body 730, a top socket layer 760, a center socket layer 750, a bottom socket layer 720, and an insulation bushing 745. The socket body 730, the top socket layer 760, the center socket layer 750, and the bottom socket layer 720 each include a plurality of openings for the plurality of aligned connectors 440, where the plurality of openings in the socket body 730, the top socket layer 760, the center socket layer 750, and the bottom socket layer 720 are configured to align to accommodate the plurality of connectors 440. The insulation bushing 745 can be used to maintain the plurality of aligned connectors 440 in the cavities formed by the aligned openings. FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the test system 700, FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the test system 700--depicting the plurality of aligned connectors 440 aligned with at least a portion of the electronic device 110--and FIG. 9 depicts an enlargement of a portion of FIG. 8.

"The socket body 730, the bottom socket layer 720, and the insulation bushing 745 in the test system 700 are constructed from composite plastic material, which can insulate each of the plurality of connectors 440 from the others. The top socket layer 760 and the center socket layer 750 are a conductive material, such as a metal, and can provide a coaxial structure for a portion of the connection between the PCB and the electronic device 110, where the electrical impedance presented to a signal passing over the path associated with the connector 440 in the cavity provided by the center socket layer 750 and the top socket layer 760 (which can be grounded) is dependent upon the values of a cavity diameter D 775 and a connector diameter d 485. Unlike the center socket layer 750 and the top socket layer 760, the socket body 730 and the bottom socket layer 720 in the test system 700 do not provide a coaxial structure when combined with connector 440."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a socket for use in a test system, where the test system is configured to align at least a portion of an electronic device with a plurality of aligned connectors. In an aspect, the socket can include a metal structure having a plurality of openings, the plurality of openings spaced to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors. At least one opening in the plurality of openings can extend through a thickness of the metal structure and can have an annular inner surface. The annular inner surface can be proximal to at least a portion of a conductive outer surface of at least one aligned connector of the plurality of aligned connectors in the test system. The socket can further include an insulation layer provided on the annular inner surface.

"In another aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a socket assembly for use in a test system, where the test system is configured to align at least a portion of an electronic device with a plurality of aligned connectors. The socket assembly can include a socket, which itself can include a metal structure having a plurality of openings, the plurality of openings spaced to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors. At least one opening in the plurality of openings can extend through a thickness of the metal structure and can have an annular inner surface. The annular inner surface can be proximal to at least a portion of a conductive outer surface of at least one aligned connector of the plurality of aligned connectors in the test system. The socket can include an insulation layer provided on the annular inner surface. The socket assembly can further include a socket retainer, which can include a metal retainer having a plurality of annular guide holes extending through the metal retainer and configured to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors when the socket retainer is aligned with the socket, at least one of the annular guide holes of the plurality of annular guide holes having an annular retainer surface. In an aspect, the socket assembly can include a retainer insulation layer provided on the annular retainer surface, where the retainer insulation layer is configured to align with the insulation layer when the socket retainer is aligned with the socket.

"In a further aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a coaxial socket assembly for use in a test system, where the test system is configured to align at least a portion of an electronic device with a plurality of aligned connectors. The coaxial socket assembly can include a socket, which itself can include a metal structure having a plurality of openings, the plurality of openings spaced to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors. At least one opening in the plurality of openings can extend through a thickness of the metal structure and can have an annular inner surface. The annular inner surface can be proximal to at least a portion of a conductive outer surface of at least one aligned connector of the plurality of aligned connectors in the test system. The socket can include an insulation layer provided on the annular inner surface. The coaxial socket assembly can further include a socket retainer, which can include a metal retainer having a plurality of annular guide holes extending through the metal retainer and configured to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors when the socket retainer is aligned with the socket, at least one of the annular guide holes of the plurality of annular guide holes having an annular retainer surface. In an aspect, the coaxial socket assembly can include a retainer insulation layer provided on the annular retainer surface, where the retainer insulation layer is configured to align with the insulation layer when the socket retainer is aligned with the socket. The socket retainer and the socket can be configured to present a cavity interface to the at least one aligned connector, and the socket retainer and the socket can be configured to present a substantially constant impedance across the cavity interface to an electrical signal provided across the at least one aligned connector.

"In an additional aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a coaxial socket for use in a test system, where the test system is configured to align at least a portion of an electronic device with a plurality of aligned connectors. The coaxial socket can include a conductive structure having a plurality of openings, the plurality of openings spaced to accommodate the plurality of aligned spring probes. At least one opening in the plurality of openings can extend through a thickness of the conductive structure and can have an annular inner surface. The annular inner surface can be proximal to at least a portion of a conductive outer surface of at least one aligned connector of the plurality of aligned connectors in the test system. The coaxial socket can further include a socket retainer, which can include a metal retainer having a plurality of annular guide holes extending through the metal retainer and configured to accommodate the plurality of aligned connectors when the socket retainer is aligned with the conductive structure, at least one of the annular guide holes of the plurality of annular guide holes having an annular retainer surface. In an aspect, the coaxial socket can include a retainer insulation layer provided on the annular retainer surface, where the retainer insulation layer is configured to align with the insulation layer when the socket retainer is aligned with the conductive structure. The socket retainer and the conductive structure can be configured to present a cavity interface to the at least one aligned connector, and the socket retainer and the conductive structure can be configured to present a substantially constant impedance across the cavity interface to an electrical signal provided across the at least one aligned connector.

"Additional features and advantages will be set forth in part in the description which follows, being apparent from the description of or learned by practice of the disclosed embodiments. The features and advantages will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the scope of the embodiments, as claimed."

For additional information on this patent, see: Zhou, Jiachun; Liu, Dexian; Soh, Siang; Hahn, Brian; Li, Bizhao. Insulated Metal Socket. U.S. Patent Number 8808010, filed June 4, 2012, and published online on August 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8808010.PN.&OS=PN/8808010RS=PN/8808010

Keywords for this news article include: Interconnect Devices Inc.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Journal of Engineering


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters