What are Mezzanine Connectors?
Meet the Connector: Mezzanine Connectors
As electronic equipment became more complex in the 2000s, mezzanine connectors were developed in response to the increasing demand for space on PCBs. These high-speed, board-to-board connectors connect two parallel PCBs in a stacking configuration. Many of these are defined in an industry standard such as the PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) which is a 1.0 mm pitch, 64-pin connector described by IEEE 1386.
Originally designed for rack and panel systems, mezzanine connectors are now used in a variety of applications, including mobile phones, embedded computers, industrial control, and medical devices.
Stacking boards is a way to expand available PCB real estate, increase the density of the product packaging as well as provide modular expansion capability. Mezzanine architecture is often used in I/O host adapter or expansion memory card applications. A processor chip mounted on a small mezzanine card can be easily changed to upgrade or add functions to existing equipment. They can support fine pitch, high pin count applications while maintaining an exceptionally low profile.
Mezzanine connectors have been optimized for high-speed applications as the extremely short circuit path length minimizes attenuation and crosstalk. Some of these connectors feature an integrated ground plane and are designed for differential pair transmission. Other mezzanine connectors are hybrid configurations that include a mix of power, low speed, and high-speed signal contacts.
When specifying mezzanine connectors, the key factors of circuit speed, stack height (the distance between the connected PCBs), pin count, current and voltage ratings, and rated number of mating cycles must be must be considered.
Markets, Sectors, Applications
Primarily datacom, telecom, and industrial applications, but also medical and consumer electronics, and in some cases, automotive, military, and aerospace applications.
Suppliers Mezzanine connectors are available from many connector suppliers, including Advanced Interconnections, AirBorn, Amphenol Communications Solutions, Cinch Connectivity Solutions, ept, Greenconn, HARTING, Harwin, Hirose Electric, JAE, Molex, NorComp, Phoenix Contact, Samtec Inc., Smiths Interconnect, TE Connectivity, and others.
Edge card connectors
Visit the Preferred Supplier pages of the companies included in this article: Advanced Interconnections, AirBorn, Amphenol Communications Solutions, Cinch Connectivity Solutions, ept, Greenconn, HARTING, Harwin, Hirose Electric, JAE, Molex, NorComp, Phoenix Contact, Samtec Inc., Smiths Interconnect, and TE Connectivity.