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Molex looks into 25Gb/s interconnect

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:I/O connector? 100 Gigabit Ethernet? cable assembly?

Molex Inc. has introduced its Molex ZXP Modular I/O Interconnect System that according to the company is a next-generation small form-factor pluggable (SFP) interface supporting data transmission at speeds beyond SFP+, up to and beyond 25Gb/s. Additionally, the technology can also be used in extremely high-speed four-lane interconnects, to support emerging protocols such as 100 Gigabit Ethernet, said the company.

Molex ZXP Modular I/O Interconnect System

The device supports data transmission beyond SFP+ and 25Gb/s.

Fischer Huang, regional product marketing manager at Molex pointed out that a typical I/O connector at these high data rates with receptacle and plug will have several zones that are important for successful operation. The press-fit connection between the PCB and the connector, for example, can give rise to electrical stub effects. The back drilling of the plated through-holes (PTH), the ground/signal balance at signal launch, signal routing and anti-pad and via geometry are all important considerations.

A second important zone is the board-to-connector transition, the area that manages the signal's right-angle travel from the board onto the connector. Geometry disruptions can result in impedance mismatches. The connector body itself will also require careful design consideration, including the dielectric properties of the molding material, explained Huang.

The terminal beam is one of the two most difficult areas of the connector to manage, noted Huang, and major geometry changes can again result in impedance mismatches. The geometry of the contact point is also important to reliability. The contact lead-in is important to connector functioning and determines the deflection of the beam when plug and receptacle are mated. The angle of deflection is also important in terms of insertion force. This entire area is dead electrically but can act as an electrical stub, degrading signal integrity, Huang continued.

Huang went on to underline important design considerations that arise with the paddle card, conductor termination and the strain relief area. Care also has to be taken with cable assembly performance. Designers will need to focus on frequency domain data, with an emphasis on measurement and the application of statistical analysis.

Huang also considered EMI and thermal issues. Where the connector and cage interface with the PCB, EMI can be prevented by ensuring a 360-degree seal. To optimize thermal dissipation, the connector can be designed with heat dissipating fins and the front panel should be designed to focus air flow through the fins. Molex has conducted wind tunnel testing to analyze the relationship between air flow and temperature, and the results, said Huang, drive design optimization.

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