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Chip Creep

Posted on 2009-05-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
What causes phenomenon known as chip creep?
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Question by:jktoka
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WaterStreet earned 250 total points
ID: 24388052
vibration.

"Chip creep refers to the problem of a microprocessor (chip) which, over time, would work its way out of the socket; this was mainly an issue in early PCs."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chip_creep
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by:WaterStreet
WaterStreet earned 250 total points
ID: 24388930
The article I referenced says thermal expansion is the cause.  I think it is that in combination with vibration
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by:JohnnyCanuck
JohnnyCanuck earned 125 total points
ID: 24390106
The major cause is thermal expansion and contraction.  As the board and components heat up, they expand at different rates depending on the material and then also contract at different rates as the board cools.  Its the asynchronous expansion/contraction that is the main culprit.  As WaterStreet mentioned, it was more of a problem in earlier PCs.  I had an early 386 motherboard that had about 20 DRAM chips socketed to the motherboard and I had to periodically reseat them.
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by:knoxzoo
knoxzoo earned 125 total points
ID: 24390209
There were several reasons attributed to the cause of chip creep.  Everything from malformed sockets to thermal variations, vibration (auditory and mechanical) to shock, magnetic flux to radio frequency.  There were so many pet theories a couple decades ago, I wouldn't have been surprised to see someone claim alien conspiracy.  

Rather than spend hours pondering the subject, I found it much easier to negate it.  A toothpick laid over the chip and taped to the board at the ends stopped the process.  Whether it be from the spring tension of the toothpick, or the vibration dampening, I didn't care.  It stopped it, and that was good enough.
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 24391954
knoxzoo,

I won't forget the toothpick.  How did you come up with that?

regards
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 24393826
A little bit of southern ingenuity.  :-)  

I needed something non-conductive, and relatively small, that was also a bit springy to help hold one particularly annoying chip in, once upon a time.  I had some toothpicks handy and figured, what the heck.  It worked so well, it became my S.O.P.
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