2017 was another amazing year for Samtec as we continued to grow our reach and push the limits of technology in our industry.
Along with that came hundreds of blog posts on The Samtec Blog with hundreds of thousands of visits. We’ve expanded beyond being just a “Samtec News” site to posting helpful how-to articles, industry news articles, and beyond.
Ranked by pure traffic, here are our top blog posts of 2017. Enjoy!
Top Samtec Blog Posts of 2017
1. Dissimilar Metals And The Risk of Galvanic Corrosion in Mating Connectors
When choosing connectors for your application, it is important to choose mating connectors with similar plating materials in the contact areas. Dissimilar metals in the contact areas (i.e. gold mating with tin) can result in galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially to another when both metals are in electrical contact, in the presence of an electrolyte.
2. Guidelines For Paste-In-Hole Reflow Processing
Many Samtec customers employ Paste-In-Hole (PIH) processing. Very simply put, this is the process of screening solder paste into and around plated through-holes on a pcb, and placing the leads of through-hole components — like connectors — in these prepared through-holes. The boards are run through a reflow soldering process, thus terminating both through-hole and SMT components in one reflow process.
3. Multiple Connector Alignment On Mating PCBs
Design and Processing Engineers frequently contact our Interconnect Processing Group (IPG) to discuss multiple connector alignment issues on mating PCBs. Our standard response is “it’s easy, don’t worry about the alignment, and we recommend you use as many mated connector sets as possible.”.
4. QSFP-DD and FQSFP-DD: Not Your Brother’s Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable!
Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable (QSFP) has become the workhorse pluggable module form factor. Originally intended as the next step past SFP/SFP+, QSFP supports data rates at 10 Gbps per channel (40 Gbps aggregate) and 25 Gbps per channel (100 Gbps aggregate).
The current QSFP solution meets the demands of the telecom/datacom industries, for now. As advanced ASIC and FPGA solutions hit the market, a next generation module that overcomes the limitations of QSFP needs to perform at 50 Gbps+ per channel.
- Read more here: https://blog.samtec.com/post/qsfp-dd-fqsfp-dd-not-brothers-qsfp/
5. Interconnect Susceptibility To Galvanic Corrosion
Our longtime friend Dave Scopelliti has prepared a succinct paper where he shares his insights on the issue of Galvanic (Electrolytic) Corrosion and interconnects.
Dave has a wealth of test, application, industry, and processing knowledge, and is well-respected and well-known in the industry. That’s a polite way of saying he knows a lot and has been around for a long time. Think Moses in a lab coat. If you’ve ever seen Dave you understand what I’m talking about …
6. What Plating Option Is Best For My Connector?
Choosing the right plating is critical to the success of a connector system. Plating affects the connector’s performance, life cycle, quality, and cost.
A recent blog explains that pins and plating are usually the main cost drivers in board-to-board connector systems.
That blog focused on the base metals in connector pins, and this one is about choosing the right plating for your connector. Like that previous blog, I can’t speak for all connector companies when it comes to costs. The majority of examples I’m using here relate to Samtec interconnects, but I bet the principles apply to other connector companies as well.
7. A New High Speed Connector Rating That Accounts For The Entire System
Designers periodically ask us for a “general bandwidth performance rating” to compare two or more interconnect systems. Of course numerous variables affect the signal integrity performance of an interconnect, so a one-size-fits-all approximation definitely does not fit all.
Now, a new approach allows system signal integrity engineers to compare relative performance of connectors and cable assemblies while factoring in noise contributions from and interactions with other parts of the channel. It also permits the consideration of digital signal conditioning.
- Read more here: https://blog.samtec.com/post/new-high-speed-connector-rating-accounts-entire-system/
8. Samtec Launches New Twinax FlyOver ChalkTalk
What have you done for me lately? No doubt all employees have at least mentally heard those words from their employers. “Here is the latest on the widget project,” said everyone to their boss.
Designers and engineers especially hear that question. The constant expectation for endless improvement and innovations remains a part of everyday life for engineers.
9. Building a Solid Connection: Tin vs. Gold
Contact materials have always been a subject of debate in the electronics industry. Innovation and industrialization have both pioneered and degraded universal standards of contact designs.
Although you could sit around all day to argue which conductor/metal is the better choice, any discussion of contacts must address the plating material selected for the application, primarily gold vs. tin. Demonstrating the pros and cons of both materials will allow consumers to determine what befits their budgets and needs.
10. Samtec Releases Firefly Application Design Guide
As the demand for bandwidth increases, so does the demand for higher capacity products with faster transmission capabilities. In response to these demands, Samtec has expanded the FireFly™ Micro Flyover Optical product line to solve more complex design hurdles.
Benefits such as copper and optical interchangeability, a small footprint for extreme high-density, high-speed 28+ Gbps performance and a simple assembly process makes FireFly™ the ideal solution for mid-board optics applications.
Also, here are a few honorable mentions worth reviewing: