Bigger is not Better – Molex Microminiature Connectors are the Holy Grail for consumer electronics design community

Think about it, the trends today in consumer electronics is not “bigger is better.”  Yes, Americans have gone to great lengths to buy bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger dogs, and if you’re a passionate golfer like myself – a bigger driver.  However, when it comes to consumer gaming systems, computers, tablets, notebook PCs, DVRs, smartphones, digital music players, electronics readers or digital cameras; we want them to be smaller, thinner, lighter, more portable, consume less power and last for weeks without a charge. We hate replacing batteries or picking up our favorite device to find that is dead.  Gadget makers are having to pack more features in a smaller or similar footprint with stronger batteries.  We want to take our consumer gadgets with us everywhere and anywhere.  Kids today are filling backpacks when they go on vacation not with books, but with all the consumer devices that they must have with them on a 3-hour flight.  Thank goodness for Molex Evaldi™ (503700 series) audio earbud headsets (shown below), so parents don’t have to hear these video soundbites 24/7. 

I have seen this trend for coming for the past 10 years. Recently as a Product Manager for Molex’s Micro Products Division, I am front and center on this crusade to help design engineers and marketing minds develop smaller micro board-to-board connectors with more robust features to deliver better mechanical reliability, in the same small PCB real estate.  When people ask what I do, I tell them I sell real estate to guys designing printed circuit boards.  Molex Microminiature connectors add value by consuming less space on the PCB.  If you’re designing connectors for I/O, getting on the edge of the board is like buying oceanfront property in Hawaii.  It’s expensive space, so they need small microminiature solutions from Molex.

Today, Molex micro b-to-b products are the lowest profile in the industry, with a height of 0.70mm and a narrow footprint width of 2.50mm to maximize the board space.  Our SlimStack™ 503304/503308 series (shown below) and SlimStack 503548 / 503552 series HRF products provide you more features in 30% less space.

These microminiature connectors make smartphones thinner and smaller to make portable gaming systems more fun with 3D experience.  Devices come with WiFi-enabled features so kids can send text messages to each other while waiting in the doctor’s office or in school. But what’s next? What are the future needs of the design engineering community to make that next generation consumer gadget?  Do our micro connectors need to be bulletproof, splashproof, waterproof, or drop-proof and even data-proof.  The answer is yes!.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could send bits and bytes at high speed signals through our micro flex connector, board connector or micro coax wire connectors with 100% data integrity and achieve speed up to 6-10 Gbps and minimal insertion loss?

Well, I can tell you that Molex Micro Products Division has an active pipeline in our R&D that is working on new technology solutions to address these needs.  So visit our website and stay in touch as we release new technologies for microminiature solutions.  We are the leaders in this microminiature connector space.

Look at the latest Digital Still Cameras or SLRs that are coming for this holiday season.  Camera techies want more megapixels, more buttons, larger LCD displays, more features for HD video, better zoom or auto-focus capabilities, larger memory card capabilities, and faster read/write speed —  but camera must be thinner and lighter. Did you ever ask yourself, how can they do that? Molex is enabling the technology with solutions like the smallest  micro SD memory card connector (503398 series)with an ultra thin profile height of 1.28mm.  Not to mention the space saving 0.20mm front flip FPC connector (503419 series) that is less than 1mm tall at 0.9mm.  How about our Pico-EZmate™ (78171/78172 series) 1.20mm micro wire-to-board solution that can handle 1.5A per circuit to power the connection for your newest battery pack design?

Molex has developed a marketing campaign with Core-Micro Products-2011,   This is a list of our top 160 series of core products that we want you to design into your next electronic device.  Molex is promoting our Core Micro Products for long term availability with a 10-year commitment for product life cycle., So if you have a long product lifecycle that you must support from concept to launch to maturity and then EOL, Molex Core Micro Products can help.  See brochure 987650-6154 .

Are you not convinced yet that Molex microminiature connectors are the Holy Grail for the consumer electronics market?  Today, you can purchase a 40inch LCD TV that is less than 3” thick, but only weighs as much as a 25 lb bag of potatoes, and can be hung on a wall by your average grandparent (not the Hulk).  These digital TVs today come with HDMI, micro SD, and DisplayPort  connectors from Molex as standard microminiature I/O interfaces, with many of our 0.40mm SlimStack board-to-board, and Easy-On™ FPC flex-to-board solutions on the inside that make it all possible.

So if you were to ask me, how are microminiature connectors from Molex changing the world we live in today?  I would say, just look at what technology or device your kids, grandkids and grandparents are using or viewing today.  Molex microminiature solutions are everywhere inside, enabling these technologies to get smaller, lighter, and better.   They are the “Holy Grail” of the connector industry.  Design them in your next device and you will see why.