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Improve Alignment of Compression-Mount Connectors in Wireless Designs (Download)

March 26, 2024

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Interconnect density continues to intensify in the latest millimeter-wave (mmWave) designs, and as such, manufacturing variations can noticeably impact performance at high frequencies. To conserve PCB real estate, designers are increasingly turning to small compression-mount connectors, particularly in test, prototype, and diagnostic applications. One concern with these types of connectors is the risk of misalignment. Unfortunately, it has historically been difficult to detect.

This article explains how compression-mount connectors are used in RF and microwave systems and why alignment is so important, and then examines the impact of misalignment on performance. The work detailed here shows that a visual indicator of proper alignment can greatly speed up assembly, alignment, and yield in designs using small compression-mount connectors.