A CPU socket or CPU slot is a mechanical component that provides mechanical and electrical connections between a microprocessor and a printed circuit board (PCB). This allows the CPU to be replaced without soldering.
Common sockets have retention clips that apply a constant force, which must be overcome when a device is inserted. For chips with a large number of pins, either zero-insertion force (ZIF) sockets or land grid array (LGA) sockets are used instead. These designs apply a compression force once either a handle (for ZIF type) or a surface plate (LGA type) is put into place. This provides superior mechanical retention while avoiding the risk of bending pins when inserting the chip into the socket.