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High-Speed Data Connector Requirement for Harsh Environment

There are various kinds of connectors required to transfer high-speed data in our everyday lives. Such as the connectors to recharging for your tablet, camera, and mobile phone. Also there are high-speed connectors found in commercial and industrial applications such as data storage, servers, switches, and routers.


These products offer superior high-speed electrical signal performance, required for the ever-increasing amounts of data that our lives demand we process.

The usual connectors for common data transfer protocols are designed for use in simple environments. However, these products do not offer the ruggedness needed for the more demanding harsh environment, such as dirt, moisture, and countless insertions.


Also the transfer of commercial technologies into the military domain has increased the need for USB, Firewire, and RJ45 connectivity. The rapidity of this change has resulted in a lack of suitable connectors that are able to support data transfer requirements while achieving military ruggedness standards.


The Current Response and Potential Problems

The current response to this requirement has been to package the standard commercial connector in a rugged military-approved housing. This leads to problems with size, weight, handling, and costs. With increased bandwidth and faster data transfer, maintaining the stability of the signal transmission through the connector is crucial. The faster the data transfer, the more im­portant signal integrity becomes,

and the less tolerant systems are to impedance mismatch; therefore, purpose-designed connector systems are a necessity


The Solution

What turns a connector into a high-speed connection? Above all, it’s in the details.


The choice of the insulation body material demands special attention. The plastic must be coordinated to the hard environmental conditions, and also to sensitive high-frequency parameters such as a frequency-stable dielectric constant or a low dielectric dissipation factor.


Also, skilled contact arrangement and design and the addition of compensation regions can optimize a connection to the point that it is possible to transmit data rates of up to 10Gb/s. Achieving this entails optimization of the characteristic impedance in order to achieve an acceptable return loss. When wiring the contact arrangement, it is just as essential to make sure that crosstalk among the differential pairs is minimized by targeted field control. This allows even CAT 6A quality to be achieved without the necessity of adding an expensive shield plate.