Data transfer requiring high-speed connectors doesn’t always take place in the quiet, clean environment of a server room, office, or laboratory. Oftentimes, these applications are in extremely harsh environments, especially those related to the military or aerospace industries. For harsh environments involving conditions such as dust, moisture, shock, vibration, or extreme temperatures, a more rugged, specialized kind of connector is needed to maintain high-speed data transfer. Fortunately, there are many different options available to meet these stringent requirements.
High-speed data transfer capabilities are made possible by the types of contacts used, with the three most common types being Quadrax, Twinax, and Triax. Quadrax and Twinax contacts are designed for the transmission of Ethernet high-speed signals in harsh environments where integrity and reliability are essential. In particular, Amphenol Quadrax contacts can handle up to 1.25 GHz of bandwidth and data transfer rates in excess of 2.5 Gbps. Amphenol Quadrax contacts also meet outgassing requirements for aerospace applications and have a gold-plated finish, as well as a rugged wall section for the outer contact for durability.
What are High-Speed Connectors?
High-speed connectors consist of an outer shield and either two (twinax) or four (quadrax) inner contacts. Of the connectors used for harsh environments, USB, RJ45, and fiber optics offer the highest performance, while maintaining high reliability. These connectors can be used for a wide variety of applications, including high-definition audio/video output, network interfacing, and simple data sharing, and they are suitable for use in harsh environments. Many different types of high-speed connector protocols are supported, too.
USB High-Speed Data Connectors
The most common type of high-speed data connectors are USB, in part because they are highly standardized. Not only can they transmit data, but they can also handle electrical power. USB high-speed connectors are simple in design, easy to operate, and self-configuring, meaning they do not require any adjustments to settings, system updates, or inputs from the user to function properly. The Amphenol USBFTV series connectors, in particular, allow for the use of a USB-A 2.0 and 3.0 data connection in very harsh environments, such as battlefield communications, ground vehicles, and military avionics. Amphenol USB high-speed connectors offer up to 480 Mb/s (2.0) or 5g Bit/s (3.0) for high-speed as well.
RJ45 ethernet connectors are high-speed connectors designed for use in computer networking, Internet connectivity, and telephone services. Many people are familiar with their basic design: eight pins (representing 4 pairs of polarized contacts) and eight color-coded wires. The Amphenol RJ Field series connectors support 10 Base-T, 100 Base-TX and 1000 Base-Tnetworks; CAT5e per TIA/EIA 568B and Class D per ISO/IEC 11801; and CAT6 per TIA/EIA 568 and Class E per ISO 11801 protocols.
Fiber Optic Connectors
Fiber optic connectors represent the latest and most advanced form of high-speed data transfer. Unlike traditional methods that depend on wires for transferring data using electricity, fiber optic systems depend on silica fibers to transfer data through internally reflected beams of light. The use of silica fibers in place of metal wires reduces data loss, eliminates problems with EMI, and achieves data transfer at the highest speeds currently possible. Amphenol ARINC 801 connectors offer all of the same benefits of standard 38999 shells, but with significantly better bandwidth and reliability, along with low insertion/return loss through the use of F/O termini.
High-Speed Connectors for Many Applications
The need for high-speed data transfer is not limited to environments with minimal exposure to humidity, dust, vibration, and extreme temperatures. High-speed contacts (such as the Amphenol Quadrax) and connectors are vital to applications very common in the military and aerospace markets. There are several different high-speed connector options for just about all types of communication protocols, including USB, RJ45, and fiber optics.
Providing Solutions for Harsh Environments with High-Speed Connectors
At PEI-Genesis, we carry an extensive range of high-speed connectors and contacts to support almost any high-speed communication protocol. Whether it’s Amphenol USB, Amphenol RJ Field, or ARINC 801 connector solutions, our knowledgeable team will help you determine exactly what products will meet your specifications. Partnering with PEI-Genesis gives you access to custom packaging and kitting, as well as effective supply chain solutions that will ensure you have access to the parts you need when you need them.