Miniaturization

Capturing data in ever-smaller devices with lighter, more capable, ultra-miniature solutions – while maximizing ergonomics and robustness

The multiplication of sensors – reflecting a growing need for data acquisition and transmission – as well as the constant scale reduction of electronic components are the two main innovation drivers for ever-smaller, lighter and more capable high-density, ultra-miniature connectors and electronic solutions.

 

Following Moore’s law, the miniaturization of electronics has meant moving away from bulky devices to fully mobile versions, including body-worn electronics. The challenge is to maximize the functionalities and performances of electronics while containing or maintaining their footprint to a minimum.

 

To overcome such hurdles, our engineers have become experts in Printed-Circuit-Board (PCB) and connector design, as well as in system integration that increases density and reduces solution packaging (size, weight, ergonomics).

What we mean when we say ‘our solutions are miniature’

Increased density

Optimized packaging factors

Increased density

Increasing density means either offering more functionality and performance in a similar footprint or offering similar functionality and performance but within a reduced and minimized footprint – or even getting the best of both worlds.

 

One way of achieving higher density involves replacing traditional multiple connectors with a single one that combines various channels of the same type (e.g. data) and/or mixing various types of contact. Such combinations yield enhanced flexibility when it comes to the device and printed-circuit-board integration.

 

For connectivity using copper, examples of hybrid configurations include: combining signal and power contacts (up to 24 contacts of 0.5 mm diameter in a receptacle diameter of 12 mm for our ultra-miniature Fischer MiniMax™ Series); or even signal, power, fluidic and coax contacts. For optical transmission, combining fiber and copper termini (for power or data) is particularly effective.

Another example of adding extra functionality or performance within a similar package is integrating transceivers within the cable – this allows to get rid of bulky additional devices to translate protocols. A typical example of such data transmission enhancements is translating an Ethernet signal from one end of the cable into a USB signal on the other end.

 

Our quest to reach higher density and deliver more within a reduced size package has also led us to explore higher data transmission rates and adopt new data protocols such as the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). The SPE allows an ethernet signal with data rates of up to 1 Gbit/s to be transmitted over a single twisted pair – instead of standard Ethernet transmission that requires a minimum of 8 contacts for a similar data transmission rate.

Optimized packaging factors

To optimize density, our experts consider devices’ footprints in terms of volume and size, without compromising our solutions’ robustness, ergonomics and conductivity performances.

 

Key dimensional factors include low-profile design and reduced diameters for our connectivity solutions:

  • The ‘flat’, right-angle design of the Fischer Freedom™ Series can divide by 2 the protruding dimensions of more traditional right-angle solutions.
  • The ultra-miniature Fischer MiniMax™ Series offers up to 24 contacts for a 12 mm diameter receptacle, representing up to a 45% space saving compared to standard receptacles with similar number of contacts, while performing an IP68 sealing rating with up to 5,000 mating cycles.

The external dimensions of electronic devices are affected by the growing demand for mobile (or wearable) electronics as well as for autonomous robotics and vehicles. This implies ever-lighter components. With up to 75% weight saving, the Fischer MiniMax™ Series achieves both size and weight reduction, maximizing performances while minimizing the integration burden.

Related news and information

Product news

Smaller, more contacts, higher speeds: the high-density, miniature Fischer MiniMax™ Series is growing

Tech insights

Hybrid connectors: Smaller, smarter devices means smaller, smarter connector solutions

Tech insights

Single Pair Ethernet: smaller, lighter, more affordable Ethernet up to 1 Gbit/s

See how we harnessed our technologies to solve our customers’ challenges.