Detailed explanation of future connector technology development trends
Blog | Dec 01,2023
For consumers, the connector product may be unfamiliar, but it is the most commonly used product by electronic engineers. Connectors are an indispensable component in most electronic products.
They are responsible for transmitting current, voltage or optical signals. They have a wide range of applications and are used in aerospace, automotive, industrial, 3C, medical and other industries.
According to relevant statistics, the global connector market size was US$53.5 billion in 2016. Driven by 5G data communications, automobiles, industry and other industries, the global connector market demand maintains a growth trend. The global connector market size will reach US$60 billion in 2020.
As China has developed into the world’s largest connector market, in recent years, the major industries driving the growth of connectors are 5G communications, electric vehicles and Industry 4.0. This is a rare market opportunity for connector companies.
Traditional connectors need to achieve three major properties, namely mechanical performance, electrical performance and environmental performance. The so-called mechanical performance refers to the performance guarantee of the connector when inserted and pulled out;
The electrical performance includes the requirements of contact resistance, insulation resistance and electrical strength;
The environmental performance requires the connector to have basic temperature resistance, moisture resistance, vibration resistance and Impacts, etc. Emerging markets also need to maintain these basic requirements.
In addition to the above basic requirements, new application markets also have new requirements for connectors, that is, new connectors are smaller, more reliable, stronger wireless performance and have a certain degree of intelligence. This is a new demand in the market.
For enterprises, only when connectors meet such requirements can they seize new market opportunities. The editor believes that generally speaking, the development trends of connector technology in the next few years are as follows:
Six major development trends of connectors
High-frequency and high-speed connector technology
In many 5G communication applications, connectors carry the important task of converting optical signals and electrical signals. With the advent of the 5G Internet of Everything era, 5G’s high data and high transmission requirements are destined to require connector performance upgrades, and high-frequency and high-speed Features become the new requirement.
Connector technology for wireless transmission
In the era of the Internet of Things, wireless technology will also be ubiquitous. In addition to realizing contact connection methods as before, connectors will also ensure wireless transmission connections in many occasions such as industry and automobiles in the future. After all, double protection is the safest.
Smaller and more convenient connector technology
Previous connectors were used for numerous contacts, and they were filled in many expansion card slots. Of course, in the 5G era, there may be dozens of connectors in one optical fiber device, which requires smaller connectors to achieve higher-performance connections.
Connector technology with higher accuracy and lower cost
Since automobiles have very high safety requirements, automobile connectors are already a very large market. With the development of electric vehicles, connectors will require higher precision and cost, and they will be more popular than previous connectors.
More intelligent connector technology
With the advent of the AI era, connectors may not only implement simple transmission functions. In the future, in switching power supplies, in addition to ensuring the data of electrical signals, connectors may be able to perform simple intelligent judgment and protection, output correct data while avoiding power supply failures. Damage, of course this requires the support of IC technology.
Automated production technology of connectors
In traditional connector design and production, manual work accounts for the main part. With the development of industrial automation, especially in precision processing of connectors, grinding tools and CAD, these advanced machines will become the main force of the industry.
Connectors are very basic electronic devices. Compared with the slow-growing application markets such as computers and mobile devices, new markets will bring new profit growth points to enterprises.
They are 5G communications, automobiles and industrial markets. Today China’s connector market capacity is gradually expanding, maintaining a double-digit growth trend every year, and has huge potential.
5G is another key factor in the explosion of the communications market. Connectors carry the task of data connection between computers and terminals in communications.
In data communications, wired and wireless communications coexist. This is why the demand for wireless connectors mentioned above will Largely increasing, connectors will continue to grow in communication equipment.
In automotive applications, due to the demand for connectors from automotive entertainment systems and electric systems, in addition to transmitting data between engine management systems, equipment, etc., connectors are also needed between in-vehicle entertainment systems, electronic equipment, etc.
Industrial connectors require stronger reliability and performance. With the construction of the Industrial Internet, stronger connectors are needed between strong industrial equipment and networks, and they have new requirements for connector performance.
If enterprises want to seize these opportunities, they must overcome the six major technical problems listed above. Connectors do not necessarily have to have these technologies at the same time. For different markets, their requirements may be different. As the market advances, these requirements will be gradually implemented.
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