DN Staff

July 13, 2004

2 Min Read
Connector pushes speed, density levels

When system developers move to high performance technologies such as InfiniBand, it can be a challenge to link several systems together. Connector makers are making sure they won't be the bottleneck, coming out with parts that handle speeds up to 10 Gbits per second.

Molex Inc. of Lisle, IL, last month unveiled its GbX line, which handles speeds of 6 to 10 Gbits per second. Tyco Electronics of Harrisburg, PA, is addressing this market with its MultiGig RT-2 line, which can run at identical speeds.

The Molex line, developed in conjunction with Teradyne Inc. of Nashua, NH, achieves density of up to 69 real differential pairs per linear inch. It can also help reduce the number of layers on the circuit boards that the connectors are mounted on, saving the cost of adding layers. Signal pairs can be routed in the slot-to-slot direction or the card edge direction. That makes it possible to allow more trace escapes from the connector pin field for each circuit board layer.

The GbX connector system also provides power solutions and hot swapping. Parts can handle 200 Amps per linear inch, with power blade configurations that provide three mating levels for hot swapping. Pricing is currently set at 13 to 16 cents per mated signal.
Tyco's MultiGig line has up to 133 contacts per inch. The modular components use printed circuit wafers instead of signal pins, eliminating the possibility that bent pins can hinder system setup. These wafers can be produced in differential or single-ended performance, so impedance, propagation delay and crosstalk can be set to customer requirements. Connectors are price at 20 cents per mated line.

The InfiniBand link addressed by these and other connectors is one of the fastest of a number of new interfaces. It can move up to 250 Mbytes in a second, nearly 10 times the 26 Mbytes per second rate of Gbit Ethernet, according to the Infiniband Trade Association.

For more information go to: www.molex.com/cgi-bin/bv/molex/index.jsp?destination=product/backplan/gbx.html

The GbX line from Molex squeezes 69 differential pairs in a linear inch, yet still moves data at up to 10 Gbits per second.

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