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What Is Socket 2?

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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Socket 2 is a central processing unit (CPU) socket that Intel once manufactured for its x86 CPUs, a family of computer processors that trace their lineage to the 16-bit Intel 8086, which the world's biggest semiconductor manufacturer produced between 1976 and 1978. Its role as a CPU socket is to secure the processor at the computer's motherboard to allow transmission of data, as well as offer physical support. The socket 2 debuted in the early 1990s, being one of the first sockets made for support of 486-generation chips.

Each socket 2 contains 235 pins. Intel used on the socket the plastic pin grid array (PPGA) method of semiconductor fabrication. This form factor consists of the pins neatly arranged in four rows on a square-shaped package. Also, it allows the hottest part of the CPU, which is the core, or processing unit, to face upward instead of it touching the motherboard. As a result, a user can place a heatsink on the core to reduce the processor's heat.

Most socket 2s use zero insertion force (ZIF), which means that it has a sort of lever to permit a microprocessor's secure installation or extraction. The ZIF method is meant to avoid damage caused to the chip. Some socket 2s have low insertion force (LIF), though, which means they have lower friction force but do not hold the processor as securely.

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Socket 2 was essentially a revision of socket 1, which uses the PPGA form factor as well but possesses 66 less pins and uses LIF instead of ZIF. Also, in addition to supporting the 486SX, 486DX 486DX2 and 486DX4 processors, socket 2 was the first CPU socket made specifically for the Pentium OverDrive. This was a CPU brand that can be seen as a predecessor of the Pentium family that would be Intel's premier line between the late 1990s and mid-2000s. When Intel introduced the Pentium OverDrive in 1993, it promoted the brand as an upgrade for 486 processor-compatible motherboards. The OverDrive chip has to possess a data transmission rate of 63 or 83 megahertz, or 63 or 83 million transfers per second, for socket 2 to accommodate it.

Regarding the 486 processors, the data transmission range is wider: 25 to 83 MT/s. Regardless of chip brand, socket 2 operates at a voltage of 5 volts. Although the less advanced socket 1 has the same operating voltage, its data transmission range is much lower, at 16 to 33 MT/s.

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