An IC (integrated circuit) socket adaptor helps to convert one type of IC socket into another, for example from a small outline ICs (SOIC) socket to a dual in line (DIP) format. IC sockets are a kind of placeholder that provides safe removal and insertion of IC chips which might otherwise become damaged if left in place from the soldering and heat.
The top of the IC socket adapter has surface mount pads to which the surface mount device can be soldered. The underside of the adapter has DIP pins. These can either be soldered into a PCB (printed circuit board) or mated with any standard IC socket.
IC socket adaptors are ideal because they can reduce development costs – you don't need to redesign boards for alternative packages.
They're used in applications where integrated circuit devices have short lead pins, such as desktop and server computers. They're also used for prototyping new circuits because they allow easy component swapping.