Communications Power

FCI Introduces Connector System for ATCA Architectures

FCI announced the introduction of its AirMax VS® coplanar signal, power, and guidance modules, which are well-suited as Zone 3 interconnects in next-generation AdvancedTCA® carrier-grade communications equipment. Zone 3 in an ATCA® shelf allows for direct connection between an ATCA front board and a rear transition module™ to route signals to the rear of an ATCA rack. AirMax VS right-angle signal modules easily enable these high-density connections because up to four 150-position modules, each supporting 50 differential pairs, can be placed side by side in Zone 3 to provide a total of 200 differential pairs.

The flexibility of the AirMax VS system provides options to increase pin density within a slot as much as 20% – thereby supporting higher bandwidth-or to reduce layer count of the backplane at the same pin density as a standard ATCA backplane.

The AirMax VS system provides a comprehensive family of high-speed, lightweight, flexible, and scaleable connectors, making it well-suited for a broad range of applications in data, communications, and industrial equipment. It uses edge-coupling technology and an air dielectric between adjacent conductors to deliver high signal density with low insertion loss and low crosstalk, all without the use of costly and space-consuming metal shields. The data rates scale from 2.5Gb/s to beyond 12Gb/s without requiring re-design of a basic platform. It offers design versatility because signal connectors can be scaled by varying the number of columns of contacts, the number of contacts per column, and the column spacing. Finally, it allows for mixed pin assignments (differential or single-ended signals or power), to provide additional flexibility to system designers.

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