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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

New Tech Tuesdays: Amphenol RF Automotive Connectors in the Industrial Space Tommy Cummings

New Tech Tuesdays

Join journalist Tommy Cummings for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

Designing automotive products (aka cars) is one of the most demanding of all applications. Between the huge operating temperature range, the excessive vibration, and long-term reliability requirements, electronic components designed and qualified for automotive use are some of the most scrutinized in the industry. And as modern vehicles become more electrified with more wireless connectivity, new standards for the size and weight of mechanical components, like RF connectors, are coming into play in order to keep the overall weight of the vehicle to a minimum and increase fuel efficiency, especially in electric vehicles.

Recently, many engineers designing products for other areas, such as industrial automation, are realizing that they can take advantage of the robust features of automotive products in their own designs. Connectors and other components normally used in cars are now finding their way into new applications such as robotics, machine vision systems, and test equipment where the extended temperature range and reliability will help improve efficiency and quality. In this week’s New Tech Tuesday, we'll look at Amphenol RF connectors that meet the demands of today’s automotive and industrial automation applications.

Amphenol RF Connectors

Amphenol RF's AUTOMATE® Type A Mini-FAKRA Connectors and Cable Assemblies were originally designed for a variety of automotive applications. The series features a space-conscious, high-performance interface and is being used in new generations of machine vision systems where their size and 20Gbps transmission rates connect cameras to edge equipment running machine learning algorithms.

The traditional FAKRA Automotive Connectors are an excellent option when environmental conditions are a concern. The FAKRA Automotive Connectors perform from DC up to 6GHz and meet the demanding mechanical and environmental requirements of the automotive industry. The design features a color-coded, mechanically keyed housing for secure mating.

As our manufacturing facilities and warehouses become more connected using wireless protocols such as Zigbee, BLUETOOTH®, and 5G, traditional ultraminiature and SMA connectors are increasingly being used in both automotive and industrial applications.

FAKRA connectors from the automotive world are often combined with ultraminiature connectors and commonly used in IoT applications for wireless connectivity or other RF applications such as RFID, GPS, and ADAS. Ultraminiature connectors, including Amphenol RF’s AMC and AMC4 series, feature extremely small board footprints and low profiles, and are terminated to micro coaxial cable from 0.81mm to 1.37mm in diameter. For industrial applications that navigate exposure to hash environments, RG-178 is an ideal option.

SMA Connectors are used in semiconductor manufacturing and test equipment. In addition to standard and custom SMA products, the series includes adapters, terminators, attenuators, and cable assemblies to meet a broad range of design requirements.

Tuesday’s Takeaway

The Amphenol RF automotive connectors represent some of the most robust electronics available to design engineers. However, many are not destined for vehicles but rather robots and automation equipment where they will help improve efficiency, reliability, and overall lifecycle.

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Tommy Cummings is a freelance writer/editor based in Texas. He's had a journalism career that has spanned more than 40 years. He contributes to Texas Monthly and Oklahoma Today magazines. He's also worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. Tommy worked at Mouser Electronics from 2018 to 2021 as a technical content and product content specialist.

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