Smart phones and other wireless mobile devices, like an 800-pound gorilla in the consumer electronics industry, now account for nearly 36% of the telecommunications market and continue to grow rapidly. Since July 2010, mobile device users have exceeded the 5 billion mark, with a global market penetration rate of about 73%. From a statistical point of view, the number of people with mobile phones in the world today exceeds the number of people with access to electricity.
When consumers buy smart phones, tablets and other smart mobile devices, they usually make decisions based on what they can use. Take Apple products as an example, there are more than 250,000 available applications (easy-to-use applications) and about 300 new applications every day. More than 50,000 software developers are actively developing software for this popular platform. Although other popular smart phone operating systems may have few applications at present, these operating systems also tend to grow rapidly as the number of users of 3G/4G networking devices increases.
Wireless users require wireless devices to have greater convenience and versatility. In addition, they want devices to be portable and readable so that they can access information and entertainment at any time. Whether it's sending vacation photos on mobile phones to microblogs, finding restaurants and map directions on the road, watching favorite high-definition TV series videos, or taking a quick look at football matches during meetings, they require that smart mobile devices in their hands be instantly implemented.
Obviously, we see that the integration of content and demand has changed the way consumers interact with their computers and mobile devices; and integration is also affecting people's demand for multi-functional performance and fast access to information and entertainment content. The new smart phone will have the next generation of ultra-high-speed memory card connectors that allow users to download applications or videos from high-speed wireless networks, save, store video content from the Internet, or download it to mobile devices, and upload it to their home networks from their mobile devices.
Challenges for Connector Providers
So how will these convergence trends affect vendors of embedded connector systems in products such as smart phones, handheld products and tablets? As processors become more powerful, and the content and transactions that need to be processed are almost endless, connector vendors are under pressure to provide small and miniature connector products for mobile device manufacturers and their design engineers to meet larger capacity, faster data speed, and to ensure signal integrity and reliability. Sex.
These requirements have prompted leading connector manufacturers to develop various types of miniature connectors to provide extremely compact size, low cost, high performance and flexibility, making them ideal products for wireless handheld devices. Below is a brief introduction to some of today's available miniature connector solutions designed to handle typical 40-way signal applications in smart phones and other compact wireless devices.
Solution of miniature coaxial-line-to-plate connector
Because a large amount of data must be processed in tightly packaged mobile devices, there is a huge demand for multi-pin micro-coaxial board-to-board connection systems.
Flexible Printing Circuit (FPC) has been used to connect high-resolution LCD display to the main keyboard of flip-over mobile phones. However, these flexible schemes also have problems, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and mechanical durability and flexibility. For example, the latest rotary-screen handsets require LCD screens to rotate at close to 360 degrees in any direction, but flexible circuits cannot handle this excessive rotation. In order to absorb stray EMI, grounding and shielding should be set between signal trace lines. However, additional ground traces will occupy more space, which hinders the trend of miniaturization of handheld devices. If the flexible circuit board with shield is used, the flexibility and durability of the equipment with flip or rotary hinges will be reduced.
Miniature coaxial cable systems with fully shielded, 0.40mm or 0.30mm spacing, ultra-thin 42AWG or 44AWG coaxial wires can provide solutions to all these problems. Although this solution is more expensive than the flexible one, micro coaxial cables are more suitable when designers require better performance and additional functionality. Micro-coaxial-to-plate connector system is especially suitable for mobile phone rotating hinge/neck, digital video camera, laptop computer, smart phone and IP network camera.
Solution of Flexible Printed Circuit Butt-to-Butt Connector with Micro-Spacing
Micro-spacing Flexible Printed Circuit Connector (FPC) provides many features, which are very important for use in tight packaged applications. Its compact size provides the required space savings, such as space between PCB board and LCD module.
In addition, FPC connectors also provide zero insrtion force actuators that can be used repeatedly with minimal wear. These miniature connectors come with a wide range of fine spacing options, including sliding and flip actuators, which are pre-assembled and include connection protection between FPC and connector terminals.
Some connectors are designed with double contact points so that applications requiring top contact type on one board and bottom contact type on the other board do not need to order two different types of FPC connectors because of cable configuration requirements. Some products offer unique FPC locking, which helps to provide positioning and cable retention while keeping cables in place for convenience.