1944. America was in the heat of World War II and continually seeking new and more advanced options against her enemies.
One such device was the proximity sensor used to disable and destroy enemy aircraft from a distance. However, a significant problem arose; the electrical signal had to be small yet rugged enough to be able to be placed inside and fired from a gun to enable the sensor from miles away. This engineering challenge sparked the development of microelectronics and PCBs.
Over time, PCB adoption has spawned a global $60 billion development and production industry. Much has changed in the supply and demand of electronics since World War II, hence, so has the PCB itself.
Due to constant advances in the electronics industry, one of the most crucial aspects to circuit designers today is the availability for expansion and integration while maintaining proper, onboard real estate.
Unfortunately, only a limited number of components can be arranged in a PCB. The challenge lies in balancing cost, size, performance, and limiting complications in the circuitry from heat and other external factors.
Thus, the need arose for something robust, durable, and reliable just as was the case in the past. One solution to the problem was the edge connector, or edge card.
With the ability to fit neatly into the PCB while only requiring a socket, the edge card became a revolution in the electronics industry. Edge cards enabled new expansion methods for memory, additional programming, or computational data in small PCBs saving system cost.
Edge cards fit into a variety of applications, and they are also durable by design. Optional weld tabs and board locks increase the mechanical strength of the connector to the PCB, polarization features ensure proper mating, and the contacts are protected because plastic insulators are shrouded with a chamfered entry.
As electronics operate at faster data rates, edge cards continue to play an innovative role. Nintendo revolutionized the earliest gaming systems with edge cards in video game cartridges. Computer designers adopted them for memory expansion, graphics cards and application specific PCBs still employed today.
Samtec Edge Card Connector Applications
Samtec has leveraged these crucial principles within our edge card connector portfolio.
Our edge card connector solutions are found in a variety of applications. For instance, in SFP, SFP+ MSA Transceivers applications edge card connectors (and complementary cages) attach SFP/SFP+ modules to the system PCBs.
These are commonly seen in data center applications like network routers storage and servers. Typically, transceivers transfer data over copper or fiber optic cable assemblies.
Edge card connectors are commonplace in many commonplace PC applications. The newest versions of PCI Express allow for a smaller footprint, again conserving real-estate as well as a lower pin count when mating I/Os with edge connectors.
PC storages devices like external and optical drives utilize Serial ATA (SATA) edge card connectors. These offer various mating options between drives as well as the ability to mount in pairs or on opposite sides of the device.
When connecting edge cards, some may consider using larger or smaller units depending on the application. Using up to 50 I/Os, all available with different pitches, our Mini Edge Card gives customers the ability to utilize a more cost effective method while assuring perfect connectivity.
In addition to focusing on PCIe based-cards and connectors, Samtec also offers robust options for TCA cards by means of our Micro TCA line. As it continues to expand, Micro TCA aims to eliminate the need for additional cards to be added to AMC boards by already containing ATCA carrier boards and shelf managers.
Samtec also offers edge card connectors for many proprietary applications. Our whole selection of High-Speed Edge Cards meets and exceeds the needs of customers no matter what application is needed.
Edge cards revolutionized the industry 50 years ago, and they continue to allow for faster processing, smoother transitions, and expandable memory in the electronics industry today.
They have solved a crucial need for PCB expansion, continuing to meet both consumer and commercial needs in a variety of circumstances and will continue to do so as new developments unfold.
These devices have allowed us not only to modify existing devices, but to improve upon them. In today’s latest gadgets, edge card technologies continue to drive growth in the global electronic industry.
Here at Samtec, we offer this technology to care for a variety of needs in our globally based markets. Our comprehensive edge card portfolio enables Samtec to implement and employ new standards along the way.
Yes, these devices have given us an edge now and will continue to do so into future, going above and beyond past limitations in a world that rapidly demands a high standard of innovation.