Q&A: Cabling for the Computer/Peripheral Market
In a new Q&A, Heilind’s David Goforth discusses the trends in cabling for the computer/peripheral market right now.
Q: How strong is the computer/peripheral market for your cable and wire suppliers right now? How has this changed in the last five years or so?
A: Price declines have been offset by the growth in the quantity of products sold. Copper prices have fluctuated wildly over the past five years making it difficult to maintain a steady price structure.
Q: How has the cable-related technology you offer for computer/peripheral applications evolved in the last few years? What can you provide customers now that you couldn’t five years ago?
A: Like everything else, it’s all about higher speed, from the suite of USB-driven devices to the various FireWire products in the IEEE 1394 area.
Q: What seems to be the biggest trend in computer/peripheral applications, based on customer requests and inquiries? How has this affected the cable equipment you have available for customers?
A: The advent of wireless devices has certainly affected the cable content of equipment. You’re seeing the need for higher speed cables along with a combination of fiber and copper assemblies.
Q: What are some of the more popular wire/cable products being designed into computer and peripheral equipment right now?
A: It can really be a diverse set of cables depending on the application and device. Fiber optic cables, coaxial cables, multi-conductor cables, Flat-Flex, audio/video cables, and power cables are all popular among computer and peripheral equipment customers right now.
Q: What is the biggest challenge faced by design engineers designing computer/peripheral end systems right now? How can the engineers work with a distributor to solve these problems?
A: Keeping up with the changes in standards and technology. Distributors stay in close communication with manufacturers on new products and can introduce those products to the design engineers.
Q: Based on your discussions with suppliers, what will be the key wire/cable technology/advances in the next few years for computer/peripheral end systems?
A: Advancements in wire and cable technologies will come in the form of either insulation advancements or voltage-grade advancements.
Q: What considerations are important for design engineers to address when they are specifying cable equipment for computer/peripheral applications?
A: Design engineers need to stay close to pending government regulations as that may influence changes to design. Sticking with standard interfaces for the appropriate equipment will ensure the availability of the appropriate cable.
David Goforth is North American director of supplier relations for Heilind.
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