With smaller products, more features and the need for increased ruggedness to survive the operating environment, both connectors and cables need to conform to the overall product's design objectives.
Perhaps the most common trend in this section is the overlapping of many trends in areas that include:
Many requirements for smaller, miniature connectors are driven by consumer applications. Automotive and industrial applications are by nature more rugged than consumer electronics and they certainly could be classified as rugged. However, the most obvious area for demonstrating multiple trends is PC boards. Since they are present in automotive, miniature, industrial, security and rugged applications, there is bound to be an overlap. While a serious attempt was made to put connector products into the right classification, it is quite likely some examples could have been used in establishing the other trends, as well.
Since covering every connector and cable trend would be a daunting task, some important areas had to be excluded. These areas include: ribbon and flex, milo-areo, fiber-optics and various specialty areas.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.