PITA Fiscal Year 2013 Projects

Impact of High Speed, High Density Electrical Connector Properties on Advanced Electronic Devices and Communications

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Richard Decker, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
PA Industry: TE Connectivity

With the advances in electronic systems in all fields of application the electrical performance of connectors and cables has gained much visibility to maintain signal Integrity of the complete system. It is well known that connectors are used in vast application space with different requirements and therefore specific application is the basis for selection of a connector. This in turn leads to different optimization techniques required to maintain signal integrity in the system. Connectors are required to meet stringent industry standards enforced through several protocols and communication specifications while maintaining both reliability and low cost. At system level, multiple interactions with other components that are constantly evolving to meet technological advances bring in new challenges to efficiently and effectively characterize the electrical behavior of the connector in isolation. It is clear from many recent publications that connector foot print on the backplane has major impact on the overall electrical performance of the system. Right now many studies on connector performance have been more qualitative with respect to their electrical characteristics. This leads to over design instead of looking at specific changes within the current design for electrical optimization. It is important to systematically study and document signal transmission effects that include impedance mismatch, crosstalk, delay and skew of the chosen connector family. Then quantify overall contribution of connector performance towards system signal integrity to illustrate and highlight both qualitative and quantitative electrical properties.