Milton Keynes, UK, October 1, 2012: Cyntech Components, a specialist supplier of electro-mechanical components and power supplies, has just added the Aries Universal Top-load Socket to its already comprehensive range of IC test sockets. The Aries socket is intended for burn-in, life and stress testing applications and accommodates any size of surface mount IC package from 3 to 18mm on a side. The socket is a top-loading design with a built in “hard stop” to prevent over-compression and is simply latched closed by pushing down the top. The Aries socket is rated for operation over temperatures from -55°C to 150°C, providing the ideal solution for automated life testing under accelerated stress conditions. Its top-load operation allows for quick and easy insertion of the test device; the socket is opened by squeezing the dual side latches and closed by pushing down from anywhere on the top. There is also the option to remove the latch enabling the socket to open when pressure is removed from the top – this allows for a set of sockets to opened and closed at one time. Locating pins align the socket on the test system PCB and it is normally secured with four screws from the top but a bottom mount option is available. A removable / replaceable interposer holds the gold-plated beryllium-copper spring probes that provide electrical contact between the device under test and the circuit board. The overall design of the socket and its closure mechanism cleverly distributes force on the SMT device while reducing the force applied to the PCB. RF versions of the socket are available with either a Kapton elastomer interposer or spring probes.