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Connectors offer flexibility for backplane designs

Posted: 24 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:backplane designs? high-speed connectors? design flexibility?

AirMax VS connector

FCI has further increased the versatility of its AirMax VS connector system by adding the option for BGA attachment to its backplane header offering. By combining FCI's BGA technology with its shieldless high-speed connector design, the new AirMax VS vertical BGA headers now offer system designers greater flexibility in backplane design and improved electrical performance. Suited for applications requiring components to be mounted on both sides of the backplane, the BGA termination option also enhances the highest-performing connector in the marketplace. It optimizes footprint, via and routing options, maximizes advanced PCB manufacturing techniques through buried and micro-vias, reduces layer count and applied cost and avoids major backplane redesign.

The resulting system will exhibit lower insertion loss and better impedance match through the footprint by reducing signal reflection.

The development of BGA backplane termination is built upon the foundation of FCI's BGA connector technology and manufacturing expertise long used on its MEG-Array and GIG-Array high-speed mezzanine connectors. Evaluations of BGA attachment in AirMax VS backplane applications performed over the past two years have repeatedly demonstrated robust and reliable mechanical performance in rigorous qualification tests.

The elimination of the metal shields results in a less cumbersome, lighter connector with fewer termination points, making the AirMax VS BGA connector easier for manufacturers to process. Meanwhile, the BGA signal header allows smaller vias on the backplane, as well as the application of blind or buried vias and vertical and horizontal routing. BGA termination allows manufacturers to use advanced PCB manufacturing techniques by utilizing buried and micro-vias, which can reduce or eliminate the need for backdrilling and can also reduce layer count and total applied cost.

Utilizing air as the dielectric between adjacent conductors, the AirMax VS connector system offers high-speed computing and networking system designers high signal density and the industry's lowest insertion loss and crosstalk, without the use of costly and space-consuming metal shields.

The Insert Molded Leadframe Assembly (IMLA) used in AirMax VS connectors enables the same connector to be used for differential pair, single-ended or power signals. The design also allows systems to migrate from 2.5Gbps to 25Gbps without necessitating redesign of the basic platform.

The AirMax VS vertical BGA header connector is initially available in configurations providing 10 columns with 15 contacts per column, supporting five differential pairs per column, with either 2mm or 3mm column spacing. These five-pair versions provide the highest signal density available, accommodating 63 differential pairs or 95 single-ended signals per inch.

The AirMax VS vertical BGA headers join the most comprehensive range of high-speed, low-cost connectors available today. The AirMax VS connector family offers a complete system of modular building blocksincluding signal connector options that scale among 3, 4 or 5 differential pairs per column along with complementary power and guide modulesto support backplane, co-planar, I/O cabling and mezzanine board-stacking applications.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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