Need solution to improve pass rate and durability of pogo pin for semiconductor (IC) testing?Omron is here to solve through Omron’s unique* IC Test Sockets and Pins


Omron has a unique* technology called EFC (Electro Formed Components) which enables limitless pin customization. Thanks to this technology, Omron can create pins and sockets tailored to the DUT (Device Under Test). Omron pins help the DUT to improve inspection performance (high pass rate, high durability, high reliability, stable low contact resistance) which is difficult to achieve with pogo pins.
Omron provides various customized IC test sockets including SOP, Power IC, RF-IC, BGA, and more.

* Holding two patents (US8337261; US2013/0045617) on electroforming technology to form contact structure and its manufacturing process.

What are semiconductor (IC) test sockets? And how do they relate to Pogo pins?What are semiconductor (IC) test sockets? And how do they relate to Pogo pins?

IC test sockets are used in the final test of semiconductor manufacturing. The IC test socket plays the crucial role of connecting the device to the tester.
Depending on the purpose of the test, IC test sockets are categorized into two groups: 1) burn-in sockets for testing reliability and durability, and 2) test sockets for measuring electrical characteristics.
Omron provides test sockets for the later, measuring electrical characteristics. For example, IC test sockets for SOP, Power IC, RF-IC, BGA, etc.
The Pogo pin, which is also known as probe pin or spring probe, is part of the IC test socket. It is designed to test the connection between two circuit boards and the device under test (DUT).
Instead of using a Pogo pin, Omron’s IC test sockets use a unique* pin, called EFC probe pin which is created by utilizing Omron’s unique* EFC technology. When compared to the performance of pogo pins, EFC probe pins have higher pass rates, higher durability and reliability, and provide a lower contact resistance.

* Holding two patents (US8337261; US2013/0045617) on electroforming technology to form contact structure and its manufacturing process.

Omron's IC Test Sockets

Below are 4 example types of IC test socket Omron provides: SOP, Power IC, RF-IC, and BGA. All product types are customized to the DUT. In addition to these 4 examples, Omron also provides several other customized test sockets for final testing.

  • IC Testing Sockets: customized to fit customer’s testing tools
  • Pins (as separate component of socket): customized to any form to fit customer’s DUT (e.g., sandwich form, side-contact form, etc.

Click icon below for more details.

EFC Probe Pin

EFC probe pins have many advantages to Pogo pins including: higher pass rates, higher durability and reliability, and provide a lower contact resistance. EFC probe pins are created with Omron original Electro Formed Components (EFC) technology. To understand more, please refer to next section.

1Comparison between EFC Probe Pin & Pogo Pin

Item EFC Probe Pin Conventional Pogo Pin
Appearance EFC Probe Pin Conventional Pogo Pin
Pass Rate 99.8% 80%
Durability 500k cycles or more ~100k cycles
Available to OLED test
Contact resistance of EFC Probe Pin30mΩ
Unavailable to OLED test
Contact resistance of conventional Pogo Pin70mΩ
Pitch 0.20mm or less 0.35mm Or more

Side Scroll

※ All data above are the actual result at the module inspection

When comparing EFC probe pins to pogo pins, EFC probe have many advantages including:

  • (1) High Pass Rate – EFC probe pins can achieve high pass rate of 99.8% (customer experience story) in module inspection, while pogo pins were 80%.
  • (2) High Durability – EFC probe pins achieves more than 500,000 cycles, while pogo pins achieve ~100,000 cycles.
  • (3) Low Contact Resistance – EFC probe pins can achieve a low resistance of 30mΩ or less, while pogo pins are 70mΩ or more.
  • (4) Narrow Pitch – EFC probe pins can achieve 0.2 mm or less while pogo pins are 0.35 mm or more.

2What is EFC Technology?

Electro Formed Components (EFC) technology is an innovative technology that makes full use of microfabrication and electroforming methods to create parts with unprecedentedly complex and unique shapes.
By creating innovative shapes, OMRON has realized high-performance electronic components.

The electroforming method is a technology that produces reproductions of the original plate.
OMRON has developed a technology to create electronic devices from the manufacturing process normally used in plating, which is a conductive coating on the surface of metal parts. Since it is a process that involves a precipitation reaction from the ion state into a precise original board, it is possible to produce metal parts with a fine and complex two-dimensional shape.

  • Preprocessing


    A master is created that consists of conductive and non-conductive parts.

  • Electroforming


    Electricity is passed through the electrolytic solution to separate the metal from the parts of the master that conducts electricity.

  • Extraction


    The master is removed from the electrolytic eolution once the metal has been separated.

  • Demolding

    Enables lithography to be performed with subrnicron accuracy.

    Metal components can then be produced by peeling off the metal and separating from the master.

The microfabrication method is technology that enables complex and fine processing as well as surface smoothing. Side edges are inevitable for general press working, but Electroforming can achieve a smooth surface of 0.1 μm or less than the entire surface Ra.
By using microfabrication technology, it is possible to create a smooth surface condition without burrs or side edges. So, perfect pins providing a stable contact and high durability can be realized.

  • Electroforming Work

    Electroforming Work
    Smooth surface
    at all planes
  • Press Work

    Press Work
    Fracture / Burrs
  • Etching Work

    Etching Work
    Side Edge
  • Wire Cut

    Wire Cut
    at 4th cut