HIGH-SPEED CONNECTORS MAY NEED UPGRADES TO ACHIEVE NEXT-LEVEL DATA-TRANSFER RATES
Three New LCP Polymers Address Concerns for Higher Speed Data Transfer without Signal Loss, Distortion, or Interference
Phoenix, Ariz., U.S. — As interest in and availability of products for the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 5G cellular networks, smart cities, and video-streaming services increase, the need to be able to push far greater quantities of data through often much smaller wired and wireless devices at much higher speeds becomes more important and challenging. To assure high-quality as well as high-speed data transfer, all components used in electronic interconnects are being scrutinized to minimize signal loss/decay, distortion, and interference. Often that necessitates that manufacturers upgrade performance of high-speed connectors, which, in turn, has led to the development of three new grades of high-performance liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) from Sumitomo Chemical Advanced Technologies LLC (here) to meet the increasing demands of this segment.
Trends in device miniaturization (and connector miniaturization and sub-miniaturization with requirements for comparable or higher mechanical performance in thinner wallstock) plus use of higher density interconnects have reduced space and increased complexity on printed circuit boards (PCBs). At the same time, the market is pushing for significantly faster transmission speeds — from 3, 6, and 12 to 25, 50 and even 100 gigabytes per second. Putting so many high-speed, high-frequency interconnects in such close proximity increases transmission loads and, along with it, crosstalk, which increase the need for connector materials with lower dielectric constants and dissipation factors. Crosstalk between mobile phones is annoying; crosstalk between autonomous vehicles could prove deadly. Regular stories about high-profile website hacks is a constant reminder of the need to protect data integrity without impacting signal speed. Additionally, faster processing speeds and higher circuit density with lower profile, thinner connectors make thermal management a more pressing issue, which has increased thermal requirements for materials used for interconnects. To prevent data bottlenecks, manufacturers will need to continually upgrade connector performance to assure more reliable data transmission with greater clarity.