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Making a connection

How are connector manufacturers meeting high speed signal needs? By Vanessa Knivett.

Connector manufacturers have a challenge on their hands if they are to cope with the sort of future interconnect speeds being talked about. Not only is there a ‘need for speed’; there is also growing demand for higher I/O density.
The evolution of high speed interconnect has been driven by the networking industry. However, Dave Helster, director of Tyco Electronics’ signal integrity group, says current demand is relatively broad. “The primary markets requiring multigigabit connectors are networking, datacoms, telecoms and servers, with others, such as medical equipment and test and measurement, starting to follow.”
He adds that Tyco has had enquiries from customers in the aerospace and defence sector. “It is clear they see the writing on the wall.”
Molex’ technology marketing director Herbert Endres agrees that demand comes primarily from huge backbone servers and switches for the Internet. But he too sees interest from the medical sector and mentions requests from wind farms, “You need high speed switching in wind generation in order to make sure the data network, turning wind farms on and off, is under control.”

Vanessa Knivett

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