Tag-Connect eliminates the need for a programming header or other mating connectors on PCBs. This is achieved by using spring pins (rated for 100,000) operations to make secure connection to a small footprint pattern of pads and locating holes on your PCB.
The footprint takes up as little as 0.02 square inches, allowing the footprint to be placed right beside the MCU (if desired).
Tag-Connect cables provide a simple, reliable means of connecting Debuggers and Programmers or other test equipment to your PCB’s while lowering board costs and facilitating efficient production programming.
I picked a couple of these up at work. I started to implement the footprint but once I found out it needed non plated holes (custom spec'd boards, $$) and it wasn't the easiest to get traces between the holes/pins (TC2030-MCP-10 with the extra outer pins -- its almost too small!) -- it was more work than what it was worth.
6 pin icsp molex connectors are dirt cheap (10c in qty 1: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/131)- plus, if I was going into production I would have digikey or microchip pre-program my parts with a bootloader.
Hi, I'm Neil from Tag-Connect, I happend to see this thread and hope you won't mind me correcting something written above...
Tag-Connect certainly doesn't need non-plated holes or custom spec boards, and routing really should be no problem at all. Our own demo board has plated holes even! (Glad to send you one if you send us an email). If you use a proto-board service that plates all holes, just make sure you set the holes as plated in your layout (so they come out the right size after plating).
By the way, we sell a retaining board that can hold the legless version in place for development work. Not as conveinient as the legged version, but works fine if board space is premium. We also have 10-pin cables and adaptors for many applications such as ARM, SWD, Xilinx FPGA's etc.
Hope that helps, do send us an email if we can be of any help.