ZIF Connector: What You Need to Know

zif connector

With a ZIF connector, the tail of the display is simply slid into a connector. Here is everything you need to know about selecting a ZIF connector.

There are primarily two ways to connect a display to a PCB. Some displays must be connected to the contacts on the PCB using fine pitch solder because they are solder-down. Others use Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) connection.

Learn more by continuing to read!

What’s Important When Choosing a ZIF Connector?

In order to make sure the connector is compatible with a ZIF tail there are four features that need to be considered: Pins, pitch, connection side, and metal.


The need to take pins into account when choosing a connector is fairly self explanatory: the number of pins on the ZIF connector should match the number of pins on the tail of the display.

The tail will not fit in a connector that is too small. Because the connector will occupy more space on your PCB than is necessary if it is too large, seating the tail can be challenging.


How far apart the individual pins are on the tail determines the pitch. Three pitch displays are available from Crystalfontz. The most typical pitch is.5 mm, while some displays with more pins to fit on the tail use.3 mm and some tails (typically touch panel tails) use 1 mm spacing.

To avoid adjacent pins shorting to each other and permanently damaging the display, it is crucial to make sure the connector you choose has the same pitch as the tail.

Connection Side

zif connector

The term “connection side” describes the side of the connector that has contacts. While some have contacts on both the top and bottom, others only have contacts on one.

Think about the orientation of the display relative to the PCB and which side of the tail the contacts are on when choosing a connector. The orientation between the display and board may need to be changed by a design that calls for folding the tail.


Finally, think about the connector’s metal. Gold and tin are both frequently used. Although tin typically costs less than gold, it does not last as long. Tin corrodes with time, creating whiskering that can lead to short circuits between pins. Tin is typically not advised for any pitch finer than 1 mm due to this problem.

Additionally, it’s crucial to match the metals in a connection because tin over time causes gold to corrode, jeopardizing the connection and introducing noise into your system.

Final Words on ZIF Connector

ZIFdesigns remain quite popular today, mostly for cable applications that require very high numbers of mating cycles.

ZIF approaches are preferred by test applications because they do not harm the device being tested, which is crucial for devices with a lot of pins.

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How Does ZIF Connector Work?

The display’s tail is simply slid into a connector for a ZIF connection. The tail should slide easily into the connector, thus “zero insertion force”. The connector has a moveable component that locks the tail into place by either swinging down or pushing in.

What is a ZIF Socket Used For?

The ZIF socket, which stands for zero insertion force, was created by Intel and featured a small lever for putting in and taking out the computer processor. Leveraging the lever is a toolless, zero force method of adding and removing computer processors.

What Connects to a ZIF Connector?

ZIF connectors are used to hold down delicate ribbon cables like FFC (flat flex cables) or FPC (flexible printed circuit) cables.