“Which Samtec connectors and cable assemblies support (pick a protocol)?”
That is one of the most common questions asked of Samtec sales and support teams. That is natural because many engineers know what protocols and data rates need supporting in their designs.
Sometimes the answer is straightforward. Samtec’s PCI Express® Edge Card Connector (PCIE series) supports the latest PCIe data rates.
In other cases, the answer is more nuanced. Protocol support depends on any number of technical factors: system architecture, PCB material, signal trace routing, connector break out regions (BOR), etc.
A final answer may require full-channel modeling, simulating and analysis. Is there an easier way?
How fast are Samtec connectors?
In recent years, Samtec has started defining connector performance by Channel Performance Metric (CPM). Instead of looking at just the mated connector pair, CPM rates the connector as part of the Samtec reference channel
The CPM data rate for each product series can be found in each product catalog page. Additionally, CPM data rates have been added to the Technical Specifications Page across the Samtec website.
For more information on CPM, please download the CPM White Paper. Samtec recommends contacting the Samtec Signal Integrity Group for technical support prior to final connector selection in any specific high-speed application.
Samtec Protocol Capabilities
How does CPM relate to “Protocol Capabilities”? Basically, if the CPM data rate of a particular series is greater than the protocol channel data rate, the product series is said to be “Protocol Capable”.
Some may think, “Aren’t there a ton of electronic protocols?” That is true. For simplicity, the supported protocols have been organized into four area: Ethernet, I/O, Optical, and Storage.
For products that fit these protocols, data now appears in a new block labeled “Protocols”. A shortcut now appears at the top of the Technical Specifications page for supported products.
There is a link called, “How is this calculated?” This pop-up menu provides further detail as to how CPM relates to protocol capabilities of each product series.
Additionally, filtering by supported protocols will be added to other portions of the Samtec website. A new feature in Solutionator will enable searching by a selected protocol. The Search feature will also choose product series that support the chosen protocol.
In the future, protocol capabilities will appear in additional Samtec literature pieces. Finally, a new standalone web page showing all related data will be produced.