PCB Connections: Versatile Solutions for Interconnecting Electronics
Printed circuit boards often require interconnections between themselves and other components in the system. Whether the application is for industrial, automation, or appliance, interconnection systems require many types of compact, high-quality wire-to-board, and boar-to-board connections that must be reliable and economical. This is necessary for the large variety of packaging and interconnection requirements existing in the market.
For instance, military aircraft require backplane connectors to provide rugged connections between components of embedded computing systems. Business equipment and consumer devices often require CT or Common Termination and mini CT connections for economical wire routing for signal or power needs. In residential ovens and stoves, connections offer a reliable means of communication to and from the printed circuit board. Spring finger connections are present in mobile phones for low-voltage power and grounding. Special connections in routers and servers allow them to operate with extremely low insertion loss, low noise, and little-to-no skew. This enables flexibility of design along with a high design margin. PCB board connections, provided by connectors, allow tremendous gain of flexibility for customization of designs and pushing the bandwidth through ruggedized packages as solutions for all solutions of unique connectivity challenges.
PCB Connection Systems
Printed circuit boards house electrical components on conductive tracks on the board. Some electrical equipment contains more than one PCB and utilizes a variety of connection systems to intercommunicate.
PCB communication systems consist of connectors mounted on the PCB. They typically transfer signals or power from one board to another or transfer them to or from one PCB in a unit to another.
PCB connection systems offer an easy method for designers and manufacturers. The PCBs are not hard-wired to each other, and they can be assembled later in the production process.
PCB connection systems may consist of various types of connectors and these can have several roles to play on the board. The final application defines the size, weight, and power properties of the connectors that PCB design uses.
For instance, connectors within a mobile phone must be smaller and lighter than high-current connectors that cars typically use.
Varieties of PCB Connection Systems
A printed circuit board can have several types of connection systems mounted or processed on it. These include signal and power interconnections with a wide variety of high-speed, high-density, board-to-board, board-to-cable, or cable-to-cable connections meant for automated assembly. Applications of these PCB connection systems include eDP or embedded DisplayPort and LVDS or low-voltage differential signaling. PCB receptacles offer wire-to-board terminations, while PCB board taps offer power to the board. There are FPC or flexible printed cables suitable for situations where small centerline spacing is more suitable rather than larger wire-to-board interconnections. Some examples of PCB connection systems are:
- Wire-to-Board Connections
- SAS & MiniSAS Connections
- PCB Headers & Receptacles
- Accessories for PCB Connections
- Memory Card Connections
- Internal I/O Connections
- Card Edge Connections
- Board-to-Board Connections
- Board-In Connections
- Battery Connections and Holders
- Backplane Connections
- and many more
PCB Connection System Orientation
PCB connection systems may have multi-pin connectors typically in a rectangular layout. Board-to-board, wire-to-board, or cable-to-board connection systems typically use a mating pair.
Such board-to-board connection system layouts can provide a wide range of connector orientations, mostly in 90-degree increments:
- Mezzanine or Parallel Orientation — both mating connectors are in a vertical orientation.
- Motherboard to Daughterboard, 90-degree Orientation — One connector is horizontal, and the other is vertical.
- Edge-to-Edge, Coplanar, 180-degree — both connectors are in horizontal orientation.
The industry uses a wide variety of PCB connection systems or connectors with designs to meet all types of specific requirements. Some connectors can withstand vibrations and environmental shocks with a high degree of stability.