IP&E sourcing considerations for developers

Simplify application design and accelerate time-to-market starts by defining basic, system-level interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) building blocks for your application.

Connectors are used to connect two or more electrical circuits and typically feature a plastic or metal housing and metal contacts/terminals, with the exception of fiber optics, which use fiber to transmit signals. Connector devices are used in a multitude of applications, ranging from cable, audio and video, fiber optics, interface, to jumpers and shunts. Applications include memory cards, telephone and telecommunications, automotive, industrial and power.

But designing with IP&E components comes down to more than just simple part selection.

We break down three popular interconnect options and their sourcing considerations to show you how to make the best choices for your design.

Commercial connectors

Look for the connectivity points based on the level of packaging (i.e., socketing a high value IC, connecting two boards, etc.). Note: In most systems, the main PCB (motherboard, backplane, etc.) will need to connect to smaller boards, system I/O, etc.

For sourcing commercial connectors, consider:

  • Configuration (board to board, wire to board (cable to board), wire to wire (cable to cable), panel mount (I/O)and box to box (cable assemblies))
  • Contact count and spacing
  • Gender
  • Contact plating
  • Termination style (crimp, IDC, through hole, surface mount, wire wrap and press fit)
  • Design options (keying, shielding and accessories)
  • Industry standards (IEEE1394, USB 2.0)
  • Control input and output requirements

RF interconnect

RF, microwave and millimeter wave components are all filtered under the RF category. Think discrete diodes, transistors, FETs, RF ICs, MMICs, ASICs, modules, RF interconnect and passive products and other highly integrated designs in RF and wireless solutions.

When sourcing RF components, consider:

  • Product and commodity specifics
  • Application type
  • Power output requirement
  • System voltage and current requirements
  • Special issues
  • Technology preferences (bipolar, MOSFET, LDMOS, GaAs)
  • Device packaging (surface mount, through hole, ceramic, plastic)
  • Temperature rating
  • Special testing or selection

High-reliability and military connectors

Military and aerospace products are built to specifications based on product drawings and testing criteria established by the U.S. government. High-reliability components are either commercial off the shelf products, which are equivalent to defense and aerospace parts but without the testing certifications, or simply ruggedized components specifically engineered to survive in industrial environments.

When sourcing military-grade connectors, consider:

  • Avnet can meet Mil-Spec and commodity-specific sourcing requirements.
  • In many cases, environmental or industry-specific guidelines or product certification is required
  • These products can be called out by MIL and/or commercial part numbers.
  • Many products can be sourced with accessories such as end bells, back shells and covers

Learn more about interconnect options.


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