In microelectronics, a dual in-line package (DIP or DIL) is an electronic component package with a rectangular housing and two parallel rows of electrical connecting pins. The package may be through-hole mounted to a printed circuit board (PCB) or inserted in a socket. The dual-inline format was invented by Don Forbes, Rex Rice and Bryant Rogers at Fairchild R&D in 1964, when the restricted number of leads available on circular transistor-style packages became a limitation in the use of integrated circuits. Increasingly complex circuits required more signal and power supply leads (as observed in Rent's rule); eventually microprocessors and similar complex devices required more leads than could be put on a DIP package, leading to development of higher-density chip carriers. Furthermore, square and rectangular packages made it easier to route printed-circuit traces beneath the packages.
A DIP is usually referred to as a DIPn, where n is the total number of pins. For example, a microcircuit package with two rows of seven vertical leads would be a DIP14. The photograph at the upper right shows three DIP14 ICs. Common packages have as few as three and as many as 64 leads. Many analog and digital integrated circuit types are available in DIP packages, as are arrays of transistors, switches, light emitting diodes, and resistors. DIP plugs for ribbon cables can be used with standard IC sockets.
DIP packages are usually made from an opaque molded epoxy plastic pressed around a tin-, silver-, or gold-plated lead frame that supports the device die and provides connection pins. Some types of IC are made in ceramic DIP packages, where high temperature or high reliability is required, or where the device has an optical window to the interior of the package. Most DIP packages are secured to a PCB by inserting the pins through holes in the board and soldering them in place. Where replacement of the parts is necessary, such as in test fixtures or where programmable devices must be removed for changes, a DIP socket is used. Some sockets include a zero insertion force (ZIF) mechanism.
Variations of the DIP package include those with only a single row of pins, e.g. a resistor array, possibly including a heat sink tab in place of the second row of pins, and types with four rows of pins, two rows, staggered, on each side of the package. DIP packages have been mostly displaced by surface-mount package types, which avoid the expense of drilling holes in a PCB and which allow higher density of interconnections.