New Industry Products

Ennovi Balances Density, Space With Scalable B2B Connectors

June 08, 2024 by Jake Hertz

The automotive-grade connector provides a reliable, versatile, and expandable platform to meet designer needs.

The automotive industry needs components with more density, while designers want electronic components that take up less space. There’s a corresponding dependence on high-density interconnects to support these needs, which accommodate the increased number of electronic components while optimizing space utilization and maintaining system reliability.

Ennovi has released a multi-row board-to-board (BTB) connector platform featuring a proprietary “snap-in biscuit” design to enable solder-free stacking of multiple connector units. The platform provides flexible, scalable electronics for automotive use.

 

Multi-row board-to-board connector.

Multi-row board-to-board connector. Image used courtesy of Ennovi

 

PCB Limitations

As vehicles have advanced, their design requires integrating more sensors, control units, and communication modules. This evolution pressures PCB designers to optimize their layouts for space efficiency, performance, and reliability.

A primary challenge is component miniaturization. To fit more functionality into a smaller footprint, designers must use high-density interconnect (HDI) technology, which allows for finer lines and spaces, smaller vias, and more layers in a PCB. HDI technology enables more components per unit area and requires advanced manufacturing techniques and precise design to ensure signal integrity and prevent interference.

Thermal management is another critical issue. As component density increases, so does the heat generated by electronic systems. Efficient thermal management solutions, such as thermal vias, heat sinks, and advanced materials with high thermal conductivity, are essential in dissipating heat to prevent overheating, which can cause component failure and reduce reliability.

Finally, the demand for modularity and scalability also influences PCB design in automotive electronics. Designers must create PCBs that fit the current configuration and can be easily adapted for future upgrades or modifications. This requires a flexible design approach and standardized connectors and interfaces.

 

Transforming Automotive Connectivity

Ennovi’s multi-row board-to-board connector addresses the high-density automotive-grade application challenges.

Featuring a unique “snap-in biscuit” design, the connector eliminates the need for soldering during assembly and allows multiple connector units to be effortlessly stacked together, providing reliable and repeatable interconnects. The platform incorporates Ennovi's patented 0.4mm miniPLX press-fit terminals, crafted from a copper alloy with minimal contact resistance (<1mΩ) and a 3 A current-carrying capacity per pin. Additionally, these B2B connectors support high data rates, reaching up to 12 GHz/24 Gbps.

 

B2B connector anatomy.

B2B connector anatomy. Image used courtesy of Ennovi

 

The solutions are available in various stacking heights from 7 mm to 30 mm and support up to six rows with 30 contact terminals per row. According to Ennovi, the solutions are also very robust, having been proven to endure prolonged exposure to high humidity levels (8-hour cycling up to 10% RH), withstand mechanical shock (35 g for 5 to 10 ms across ten axes), and resist vibration (8 hours per axis). Additionally, they operate within a wide temperature range from -40°C to +150°C and adhere to automotive performance standards IEC60352-5 and IPC-9797.

 

Engineering Benefits 

As modern automobiles become increasingly digitalized, the need for higher-density PCBs and interconnects continues to grow. Supporting this trend necessitates reliable interconnect solutions to handle increased component integration without sacrificing performance. Thanks to their combination of robustness, high density, and scalability, Ennovi’s new connectors have the potential to benefit automotive designers and enable more efficient and adaptable future vehicles.