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ZIF socket

(Zero Insertion Force socket) A type of socket designed for easy insertion of pin grid array (PGA) chips. The chip is easily dropped into the socket's holes, and a lever is pulled down to lock it in. Pulling the lever moves the top plate of the assembly, pushing the pins into their contacts. See PGA.

ZIF Socket
After insertion of the chip, the lever is pulled down and the pins are locked in.


(1) (Professional Graphics Adapter) An early IBM PC display standard for 3D processing with 640x480x256 resolution. It was not widely used. See CGA, EGA and VGA.

(2) (Programmable Gate Array) See gate array and FPGA.

(3) (Pin Grid Array) A square chip package with a high density of pins (200 pins can fit in 1.5" square), enabling it to support a large amount of I/O. PGAs are typically ceramic (CPGA), but plastic cases are also used (PPGA). The underside of a PGA package looks like a "bed of nails." In a staggered PGA (SPGA), the pins do not line up in perfect rows and columns. See ZIF socket.

Pin Grid Array
The bottoms of PGA packages look like beds of nails.

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