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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


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

Good “Thins” Come in Small Packages Paul Golata

Molex SlimStack Connectors



I love eating them. Maybe you enjoy them too.

In my family, I'm the only guy. My family consists of one engineer dude surrounded by his wife and four grown daughters. As a man in this situation, I have experienced many things.

One of my favorite memories was taking my daughters door-to-door to sell Girl Scout cookies. This generally involved me pulling a wagon down the street, and then my little girls knocking on the door to turn on the charm. More often than not, cookies were sold. Smart sales strategy!

Inevitably, I would also place my fair share of orders, you know, to help jump start the sales process. Okay, dad is in for 10 boxes of Thin Mints (Figure 1).

Stack of Thin Mint Cookies

Figure 1: Stack of Thin Mint Cookies. (Source: Mouser)

The cookies are thin, crisp wafers covered in a chocolaty coating. They are made with natural oil and accented with peppermint. Hence the name: Thin Mints.

Well, maybe you're like me and enjoy Thin Mint cookies, too. But regardless if you love these cookies as much as I do, you have to admire the ability to design and buy thin things that will fit into your design. Thin things fit better. Thin connectors are important in electronic design because they enable engineers to locate and route wires where they need to.

Like mints, Molex starts with the letter ‘m.’ Molex brings together innovation and technology, delivering electronic solutions to customers worldwide. Molex offers a full suite of solutions and services for many markets, including data communications, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, commercial vehicle, and medical.

Molex Microminiature Connectors

Molex has a full line-up of Microminiature Connectors (Figure 2). These connectors are ideal for a vast array of applications such as mobile devices, handheld units, automotive, and medical devices. Molex micro wire-to-board, wire-to-wire, board-to-board, FFC/FPC, I/O, and memory card connectors are designed to meet the requirements of small, high-performing technologies. These products feature minimal circuit sizes and multiple amps per circuit with speeds up to 20Gbps. Molex Microminiature Connectors offer a wide range of products to meet design parameters, including space savings, high-density signals, and durability.

Molex Microminiature Connectors

Figure 2: Molex Microminiature Connectors support thinner, lighter, more portable designs without compromising performance or mechanical reliability. (Source: Molex)

Molex SlimStack Connectors

As appropriately named as Thin Mints, Molex’s SlimStack Connector Family offers designers a wide variety of stacking connectors featuring space-saving Surface-Mount Technology (SMT). They enable designers to stack things together into small, thin, and ultra-slim locations. Keeping a low profile is imperative in today’s world of electronics where size and mass are designed to be minimal. With pitches of 0.35mm–2mm, Molex SlimStack Connectors offer mating heights between 0.60mm and 16mm and mating widths from 2mm–7.20mm. Circuit sizes start at 10 with ranges up to 200. Along with an assortment of High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), micro Secure Digital (SD), and DisplayPort (DP) items, one might expect to find Molex SlimStack connectors inside your large digital television in your home, office, or pub.

Microminiature connectors like these help designers create lighter, more flexible products commonly found in one’s daily life, especially those compact devices people carry with them everywhere. Because consumers are apt to find themselves in a broad range of environments, contexts, and conditions, it is imperative that thin connectors must also be rugged, reliable, stable across temperature variations, and properly robust and resilient to typical operational abuse. Additionally, in today’s world of high-speed data communication signals, microminiature connectors must be able to stay securely connected to deliver full data integrity, minimal insertion loss, and high speed (>5Gbps).

All of this goes to prove that good “thins” do indeed come in small packages. As engineers designing next-gen products, you can depend on Molex's Microminiature Connectors to lead the way toward developing the smallest ideas that are big on performance.

Now, where is my glass of milk? It is time to reward myself with a plate full of cookies.

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Paul Golata joined Mouser Electronics in 2011. As a Senior Technology Specialist, Paul contributes to Mouser’s success through driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall product-line and marketing directions for advanced technology related products. He provides design engineers with the latest information and trends in electrical engineering by delivering unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser Electronics, Paul served in various manufacturing, marketing, and sales related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU, and Arrow Electronics. He holds a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); an MBA from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); an MDiv w/BL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX); and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX).

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