World’s smallest board-to-board connectors set new standard in space-saving connections

22 June 2022

Molex Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors
Molex Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors

Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors from Molex ideally suited for space-constrained smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, AR/VR devices & more. Industry-first staggered-circuit layout offers 30% space savings over conventional connector designs; robust features deliver increased strength for more reliable performance. Over 50 million units shipped since 2020 to support major smartwatch manufacturer.

Connectivity & electronics solutions provider, Molex has announced the commercial availability of its Molex Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors, featuring the industry’s first staggered-circuit layout for 30% space savings over conventional connector designs. These patent-pending connectors offer product developers and device manufacturers greater freedom and flexibility to support compact form factors, including smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, game consoles and AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) devices.

Molex continually drives connectivity innovations in support of increasingly smaller yet more powerful devices,” said Justin Kerr, Vice President & General Manager, Micro Solutions Business Unit, Molex. “With the high-density, Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors, our customers now can squeeze more features, sensors and functionality into increasingly tight spaces without compromising device performance. As a result, Molex is setting a new connectivity standard for space optimisation.”

First-ever staggered circuit layout delivers unprecedented space savings
Molex’s long-standing collaboration with product developers from a major smartwatch manufacturer propelled the initial design of the Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors. Molex engineers also worked with experts from a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of flexible printed circuits (FPCs). Together, the engineering teams validated the first-ever, staggered circuit layout, which positions pins across four rows at a signal contact pitch of 0.175mm. The result delivers unprecedented space savings while enabling high-density circuit connectivity.

The Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors adhere to the 3.0A current rating, meeting customer requirements for high power in a compact form factor. Additionally, the product aligns with the standard, soldering pitch of 0.35mm to expedite volume manufacturing using typical surface mount technology (SMT) processes. Reliable, robust performance is assured, thanks to interior armour and insert-moulded power nail, which safeguard pins from damage during volume manufacturing and assembly. These capabilities, along with wide alignment, facilitate easy, secure mating and lower fallout rates.

High-volume production, diverse mix of applications
More than 50 million Quad-Row Connectors have been shipped since 2020 to support the highest-selling smartwatch worldwide. Molex’s meticulous attention to design for manufacturing has led to expedited volume manufacturing ramps. The connectors also support a bigger reel size, which can facilitate production efficiencies, leading to improved production yield rates.

In addition, the compact size and reliable performance of the Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors make them ideally suited for a variety of applications requiring increasingly smaller PCBs (printed circuit boards) and flex assembles. The ability to meet product miniaturisation demands creates nearly limitless opportunities for AR/VR, automotive, communications, consumer, defence, IoT (internet of things), medical and wearable applications.

Molex Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors are available worldwide in 32- and 36-pin configurations with 20- and 64-pin configurations coming soon. Plans are underway to support up to 100-pin counts.

Molex consumer & commercial solutions
The Molex legacy of delivering critical connections extends across the entire mobile device ecosystem with proven expertise in 5G, mmWave, RF, signal integrity, antenna, power, camera and display technologies. Precision, volume manufacturing and miniaturisation enable Molex to meet dynamic market demands while providing leading mobile device manufacturers and their suppliers with the smallest, densest and most advanced connectors currently available.

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