An innovative way to make a high performance connector is to combine rigid metal contact members with sheets of PariPoser® elastomer material. The result is a connector that’s high speed, solderless, replaceable, and customizable.
|Combination of signal, power & coax||Signal only|
The connectors have two PariPoser® sheets held taut in machined or molded frames (one on the top, and one on the bottom of the connector). The frames are snapped onto the body of the connector for easy assembly, maintenance and repairs. The elastomers act as the compliant mechanism per contact, they seal the internal conductors from the environment, and they physically retain the conductors in the connector body.
|PariPoser® material held taut in a frame, and rigid coaxial inserts.|
The PariPoser® material is a thin elastomeric sheet with magnetically aligned particles of nickel. When compressed, the nickel particle columns conduct current vertically, but not horizontally.
|Top view of columns on a 1.0mm grid of PCB pads||Side view pf particle columns (under compression)|
There are 9 variations of the PariPoser® material with different size nickel particles that give a target pitch range from 0.1mm to 2.0 mm. The columns are uniformly dispersed over the entire sheet of the elastomer, so points of contact can be made at any location on the connector. Durability and longevity are enhanced by the low metal content (10%) of the PariPoser® material.
Signal, power and coaxial contact members in the connector are simple rigid machined parts made of gold-plated copper alloys (or traditional spring pin contacts). Their size, diameter and length are determined by the needs of the project. They are loosely placed in the cavities of the connector body where needed, and retained in the connector body by the elastomer sheets held taut in the frames.
|Rigid pins and coaxial inserts are placed in the connector body cavities.|
Coaxial inserts are made of three rigid machined parts: a center shaft, a machined dielectric spacer, and a cylindrical ground shield. The pitch, dimensions and target impedance of the contact can match whatever requirement is needed. The ground shield can be slotted to allow PCB signal traces to be routed on the surface layers of the PCB.
There can be any number and combination of the signal, power, and coax contacts in the connector. And, the locations of the contacts can be anywhere within the envelope of the connector body (due to the uniform distribution of the ball columns in the material.) The connector envelope can also be any shape (for example: round with a 6mm diameter, or rectangular at 150mm x 25mm).
The PCBs and the connector need to be firmly and uniformly clamped together to retain the connector to the PCBs, to maintain the proper compression of the elastomer material, and to avoid bowing of the PCBs.
The PCB pad heights and the inter-pad voids need to conform to the design guidelines provided by Paricon (pads should be made with 1 oz. copper, plated with gold, sized at 60% of the pitch, and void of solder mask between the pads) .
Characteristics at each contact position for a 0.5mm pitch connector.
These are the simulation results for a 10mm long rigid coaxial insert that could be used in one of these connectors. (Specifics are: 50Ω impedance, 0.4mm diameter center conductor, Rexolite spacer, and a 1.5mm ID ground shield.) The expected rating is about 60 GHz.