Board to Board Connector
Board-to-board connectors connect signals between two printed circuit boards (PCBs) without a cable. At Amphenol, we offer a variety of board-to-board options to fit your specific needs and design these connectors to provide you with the best performance for each application.
- Backplane - Two daughter cards connected through a common PCB in the back of a chassis form a backplane system. A Right-angle connector on each daughter card connect to the backplane with vertical connectors. Backplanes are typical in top-of-rack switch applications or HHD clusters.
- Coplanar - Applications where the PCBs are on the same plane and connected by two right-angle connectors.
- Orthogonal - Applications where the connecting PCBs are orthogonal to each other. This improves airflow and is useful in contemporary networking configurations which implement the spine and leaf structure.
- Mezzanine - Two connected parallel printed circuit boards at fixed distance apart.
- Signal - General purpose connectors. The signature of these connectors is the open pin field and are they are generally for low voltage-low current applications. An open pin field means each pin is its own connection and patterns of signals and ground can be determined by the end user. This makes these connectors applicable for the most applications, but they may not be suitable for high performance applications. Bergstak is unique in this group because it has the capability for high-speed signaling.
- Card Edge - Only requires one connector, because the male connector is formed by plating pads on a PCB. Card edge PCBs can connect perpendicular to the mother board as in PCIe, or can connect in a coplanar configuration.
Benefits of our Board to Board Connectors
Signal integrity is a term used to describe the electrical quality of an interconnect. The electrical quality of an interconnect is related to power loss, reflections, and crosstalk. Power loss through an interconnect is quantified as "insertion loss" and is how much power is lost as the signal passes through the interconnect. Reflections are quantified as "return loss" and is how much power is reflected from the interconnect back to the transmitter. Crosstalk is noise generated by other nearby signals that degrades signal performance. Each metric has design targets related to the application. The applications are generally based on a specific protocol or standard.
Amphenol offers board-to-board solutions for every industry standard application. XCede and AirMAX are excellent and proven board-to-board connectors for backplane, mezzanine, orthogonal, or coplanar solutions up to 25Gb/s. The applications for these connectors include IEEE 10GBASE-KR and 25GBASE-KR, or OIF CEI-6G, CEI-11G, CEI-28G. ExaMAX and Paladin are suited for applications of 25Gb/s to 112Gb/s. Applicable industry standards for these best-in-class connectors are include IEEE 25GBASE-KR, 50GBASE-KR, and 100GBASE-KR or OIF CEI-28G, CEI-56G, CEI-112G. Our board-to-board connectors can also be used in PCIe applications for riser cards or control signals. XCede and AirMAX are appropriate for PCIe Gen 1, 2, or 3 and ExaMAX and Paladin should be used for PCIe Gen 4 or higher.
Amphenol also offers Millipacs®, a 2.00 mm grid Interconnection system in hard metric configuration designed in accordance to IEC 917, IEC 61076-4-101, Telcordia GR-1217-CORE standards and fulfills Compact PCI bus architecture. Feature-packed for rugged environments: two-beam twisted tulip contact, header pin length choice for hot swapping, EMI shielding, coding, guiding, high operating temperature, they are ideal for use in rugged and reliable applications in multiple market segments including Industrial & Instrumentation, medical, aviation, railway, military, space, automotive, telecom.
Excellent signal integrity extends to our board-to-board connectors as well. For mezzanine, we offer best-in-class signal integrity with very small stack heights. MEG-Array 56 is design for 56Gb/s applications at a stack height of 4mm. Mini-cool Edge has been optimized for 112G card edge applications.
Amphenol also provides Cool Edge, a high speed and high power card edge connector system that supports most Board-to-Board applications in electronics market. These versatile solutions address multiple standards like PCIe, SAS, SATA, Gen 4/5, OCP 3.0, EDSFF, Gen Z and offer multiple BTB configurations such as mezzanine, coplanar, mid-plane and backplane. Designed as Open Pin Field and hot plug capable make them ideal for applications such as Solid State Drive, NVMe SSD, enterprise data center, Network Interface Card and Add-In Card.
Amphenol's extensive range of vertical PCIe® Gen 4 and Gen 5 connectors include options for surface mount, through hole solder, press-fit and straddle mount terminations. These 1.00mm pitch, vertical and right angle card edge connectors enable all generations of PCI Express® signaling in desktop PCs, workstations, and servers. The connector designs provide support for 2.5GT/s (Gen 1), 5.0GT/s (Gen 2), 8.0GT/s (Gen 3) and recently upgrade to 16GT/s (Gen 4), even further to Gen 5 32GT/s per differential signal pair.
Finally, Bergstak® is an excellent option where cost and performance is paramount. It can deliver speeds in excess of 32Gb/s and has enough pins for both the high-speed and side-band signals. Offering micro pitch from 0.4mm to 0.8mm, connector position options from 10 to 200, and stack height flexibility from 3mm to 20mm, these connectors are designed for use in Industrial, telecom, datacom, automotive and medical applications. This comprehensive range of products is also available in shielded version.
Density is the number of differential pairs and other signals within an area. To calculate density, divide the number of signals of a connector by the area its footprint occupies. It is typically quantified in differential pairs per inch squared. The density of a connector is directly related to its column and row pitch. As the pitch becomes smaller, the density increases. As the pitch of SERDES BGAs decreases, demand increases for connector pitch reduction.
Amphenol offers board-to-board solutions for low and high-density applications. In applications where one rack separation matters, AirMAX, XCede, and ExaMAX have solutions up to 128 differential pairs per connector. BergStak® 0.8mm is a comprehensive, versatile and flexible solution designed for high speed and high density. Other applications may necessitate density within the chassis instead of the front panel. In these applications we offer connectors with tight pin pitch. Examples are MEG-Array which is a grid of 1mm high speed signals and grounds or BergStak as low as 0.4mm signals spacing.
In mezzanine applications, the distance between the two stacked interconnected boards. Backplane connectors that have been adapted to mezzanine applications typically have stack heights from 15mm to 55mm. Products with stack heights like these are ExaMEZZ, InfinX, and GIG-Array. BergStak® and BergStik® product families can cover a wide range from 3mm to 63mm. However, many mezzanine connectors are designed for very tight stack heights with very high density. These connectors include MEG-Array and Chameleon which have minimum stack heights of 4mm and 6mm respectively with Chameleon's tight pitch at 0.9mm.
The cost of an interconnect can be as simple as a piece price, and interconnect cost is also discussed in terms of price per differential pair.
Amphenol offers low-cost board-to-board solutions. AirMAX and XCede are time-tested solutions for up to 25Gb/s at extremely competitive prices. ExaMAX VS is an introductory solution for 25Gb/s applications and is mating compatible with our latest 112Gb/s version of ExaMAX. BergStak® Lite 0.8mm is an economical version that uses Gold Flash plating that can meet up to 50 mating cycles, from 40 to 100 position sizes in 20 position increments and from 5mm to 20mm stack heights in 1mm increments.
Amphenol is a very large scale (VLS) manufacturer. We have delivered over 10 billon differential pairs to our customers world-wide, and we have the capacity to deliver our products in volume wherever you may be.
Many connectors offer integrated power delivery solutions, or you can pair any of our hard-metric backplane connectors with our hard-metric power connectors to deliver over 100A along side your high-speed signals. In less demanding mezzanine applications, Chameleon can deliver 2.5A per contact. EnergyEdge™ X-treme's dual contact design can handle 3000W at 12V and offers the highest linear density available in the market today. Featuring twice as many contact points, it allows for a 25% improvement in linear current density when compared to existing card edge products. Its more compact design provides up to a 23% size reduction compared to eHPCE®, carrying 3000W in the same 43mm space. Available in straddle mount, right angle, right angle coplanar and vertical configurations.