Microminiature Connector Solutions for Wireless Handheld Devices
Size Matters with Consumer Electronics Components.
Microminiature connector solutions offer compact size, low cost, high performance and flexibility – making them a perfect fit for wireless handheld devices. Below is a review of three key microminiature solutions for typical 40-circuit signal applications including relative performance, features and benefits, size attributes and rank by total cost of system solution.
FPC connectors feature a ZIF actuator, which allows for repeat cycling with minimum wear. These miniature connectors come in various fine-pitch options, including push-pull and flip-type actuators, which are pre-assembled covers that secure the connection between the FPC and the connector terminals.
Some connectors are offered with dual-contact design, eliminating the need to order two different types of FPC connectors for applications that require a top-contact style on one board and a bottom contact on the other board due to cable-configuration needs. Some products offer a unique FPC lock that helps provide positioning and cable retention, while keeping the cable in place to facilitate insertion.
In summary, FPC connectors offer flexibility in board design in tight packaging. They also save costs by offering a one-piece solution that does not require a mating connector such as wire-to-board or board-to-board connectors.
High speed signal
Micro Coax Wire-to-Board Solutions
The multi-pin micro coaxial wire-to-board connection system is in high demand given the massive data transactions that occur in tightly packaged mobile devices.
Flexible printed circuitries (FPC) have been used to connect high resolution LCD units to the main keypad of flip style mobile phones. However, these flex solutions have issues such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and insufficient mechanical durability and flexibility. For example, the LCD screens of the latest swivel phones are required to rotate almost 360 degrees in any direction, and flex circuitries cannot handle the abuse of this movement. In order to absorb stray EMI, a ground or shield can be placed between signal traces. However, extra traces for ground take up more space, going against the miniaturization trend of handheld devices. If shielded FPCs are used, flexibility and durability are compromised if the device has a flip or swivel hinge.
Micro Board-to-Board Solutions
The 3G smartphones on the market today require connectors to be smaller than ever. Design engineers have available to them connectors with a very low profile (H=0.70mm), ultra narrow depth (W=2.60mm) and very fine pitch of 0.40mm with fitting nails uniquely designed under the plastic housing to minimize the footprint and maximize the design flexibility. For example, a 40-circuit ultra low profile (H=0.70mm) micro board-to-board connector will consume less than 28mm2 of PCB real estate.
For those worried about other PCB components being too noisy or causing signal integrity issues or interference, some micro board-to-board connectors offer external metal shielding to improve performance. Engineers concerned about electronic devices working in high vibration applications can leverage fine pitch micro board-to-board connectors that achieve very high retention forces or provide permanent-mate solutions to withstand drop tests.
The cost of PCB real estate is approximately $0.015 cents per millimeter. These tiny connectors pack a powerful punch for designers who must connect LCD displays, keypads, membrane switches, A/V or RF boards, modems, or GPS cards to main PCBs.
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