Updated: December 29th, 2019

Test and Burn-In Sockets: The iNEMI Roadmap

Test & burn-in (TBI) sockets represent a small but technically challenging segment of the connector industry. Designs are robust, leading-edge, often produced in small quantities at very high costs, and are tested in excess of 100,000 touchdowns before socket rebuild. The market segment focuses primarily on the IC industry, and system prototyping, emulation, and test. Singulated and strip test sockets and burn-in sockets are considered part of the electronic connector market, while wafer probes are designed to test bare die and wafers in the semiconductor equipment market.

Many TBI sockets are closely linked to silicon packaging and Si technology trends, including some of the most demanding requirements in the connector industry:

  • Highest speed
  • Highest density
  • Lowest voltages and noise margins
  • Rigors of high-temperature burn-in tests
  • Impact of Moore’s Law on discrete interconnect devices
  • Backdraft from increasing IC test costs
  • Threats from wafer level/flip chip, MEMS, 3D, and other die-level test technologies

Thus, test socket manufacturers tend to be a separate breed from production connector manufacturers. Their business postures involve high levels of engineering, low-volume/high-tech manufacturing, and (