If you've spent any time looking for the right connector to use in a smartphone or other mobile device, you might believe that all fine-pitch, low-profile connectors are created equal. But they're not.
In spite of similarities in package size and pitch, at least on their datasheets, these connectors differ in subtle ways that can affect their reliability during the assembly process and in use. Here are the key technical factors to consider when looking for a reliable connector for use in mobile devices:
Tolerates mechanical forces. The board-to-board and board-to-FPC connections within mobile devices have to withstand substantial forces, from insertion forces during assembly to shock and vibration forces in use. A robust contact geometry is the first line of defense against these forces.
Contains the solder. The low-profile connectors used in mobile devices are susceptible to damage from solder rise. The best connectors will provide an integrated nickel barrier to keep the solder in its place.
Resists corrosion. Corrosive gases generated during the assembly process can damage connectors, ultimately shortening their life. Look for connectors with an anti-corrosion surface treatment.
Stays in alignment. Coplanarity of the connector pins may not be the most obvious product selection factor, but it directly affects insertion force and the connectorís ability to withstand repeated insertions. Look for connectors with the best coplanarity specs.
I don't know if anyone have you noticed that the charging time may vary according to the quality of connector (charging cable) used. Once during a trip I forgot my iPhone's charging cable so I bought a cheap one for the charging of my cellphone. The cable did work but it took way longer to charge my phone compared to the cable I used back at home (the original cable). In both the cases the source for charging was the same (i.e laptop).
I still can't figure out what may be the reason. It did charge the phone eventually so that means it did work. The charging source was the same in both cases so it leaves us with only two things, either the wire may not be of the same quality or maybe the connection of the wire with ends may not be of the same quality.
This information is quite useful to have, so thanks for the article. The connector might be something that a lot of people don't think about but it's key to ensuring the longevity and chargeability of a mobile device.
As an industry, we now need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly identify and report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, design engineers, industry organizations, and government.
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