To the best of my knowledge, David Letterman popularized Top 10 lists on his show Late Night With David Letterman. The first list aired on September 18, 1985, and the topic was “The Top 10 Words That Almost Rhyme With Peas.” In typical Letterman fashion it included the words nurse, ice, moss, lens, and rice.
Several years ago we published a blog on Samtec’s Top 10 most popular connector products and product families. I wrote it because I’m frequently asked that question. And since people are still asking, here’s an updated list. Let me add one quick disclaimer: about all of our products are mated connector sets. So instead of just listing one terminal or socket strip, or cable assembly, I’m taking a few liberties and grouping products into buckets. This could affect the rankings a little, but it gives you a better understanding of what’s popular and why.
First is SEAM, SEAF — also known as SEARAY™. It’s a high density, high speed, 1.27 mm (.050″) grid array system. It’s popular because the open pin field gives designers tons of pcb routing and grounding flexibility.
Second is our FTSH, CLP set. These are basic 1.27 mm (.050″) socket and terminal strips . They are a popular connector system because of the variety of options in the product line, including through-hole and SMT terminations, vertical and right angle designs, and a variety of plating options, among others.
Third is TFM, SFM, our popular Tiger Eye™ contact system that is ideal for rugged, high-cycle, micro pitch applications. This is one of the first connector sets designed for SMT applications; it’s a quality product.
Fourth is FireFly™, an interconnect system that gives designers the flexibility of using high-performance optical and low-cost copper interconnects interchangeably with the same connector system. The miniature footprint allows the industry’s highest bandwidth per square inch of PCB space.
Number six is not a specific product but our line of high speed cable assemblies. Connector termination options are almost limitless; a popular application is Twinax Flyover Solutions. (Here’s another helpful link).
Seventh is QTH, QSH. This is one of our Q Strip® products, which are high-speed mezzanine connectors, in stack heights from 5 mm and up (5 mm is the most popular), with an integral ground plane for high speed and/or power applications.
Next up at number nine is HSEC8. HSEC8 is a high speed, 0.80 mm pitch edge card socket. It’s a popular connector in the top 10 because it has a good beat and you can dance to it. Seriously, it’s a micro pitch, rugged alternative to standard edge card receptacles. It’s available in right angle, power/signal combos, and differential pair designs, among others.
The tenth most popular connector system has been in the Samtec catalog for decades. They are basic 2.54 mm (.100″) through-hole terminal and socket strips, the TSW and SSW series. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but this product line oozes design flexibility. You can design just about any stack height, number of positions, orientation, plating, or configuration imaginable.