This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are necessary for us to deliver this site to you, others help us to make sure you have an improved user experience on the Smiths Interconnect site and with our people. By using this site you consent to the placement of these cookies. Please read our cookie policy to learn more about our use of cookies.

LightCONEX Backplane Connector

The LightCONEX® active blind mate optical interconnect is a revolutionary solution for VPX systems that includes a fixed plug-in module connector and a floating backplane connector compatible with proposed VITA 66.5 standard. The backplane connector has a spring-loaded MT to ensure a secure MT to MT mating connection under extreme shock and vibration conditions.

Features & Benefits

  • Optical interconnect: Mechanical Transfer (MT) ferrule with linear array of 12 or 24 parallel multimode fibers
  • Secure connection: Spring within the backplane optical cable provides the mating force between plug-in module and backplane MTs
  • Standards: Designed following VITA 66.5 standard (forthcoming)
  • Maintenance: Supports two-level maintenance
  • Blind mate: Eliminates fiber handling and frees up space on host board
  • Robustness: Tested for vibration and shock over industrial temperature range, exposure to humidity, salt fog, sand and dust, mate/un-mate cycles, following military specs


  • VPX single board computing
  • C4ISR embedded systems
  • AESA radars
  • Ethernet switches, high BW communication links

Two LightCONEX 12TRX
Two LightCONEX 12TRX Style A plug-in module and backplane connectors compatible with the VITA 66.4 standard. (2 × 24 fibers total)
ELMA 3U VPX backplane with LightCONEX backplane connector Style A
ELMA 3U VPX backplane with LightCONEX backplane connector Style A

Backplane connector

The LightCONEX backplane connector contains the Face plate and Insert. The connector is designed to provide float in both the X- and Y-directions to enable alignment of the MT ferrule mating interfaces. The design complies with the ANSI/VITA 66.4 mating requirements with the MT ferrule displacement occurring within the backplane connector.
Single or dual MT ferrules and/or hybrid configurations (including RF coaxial contacts) are available.

  • Spring-loaded MT ferrule (12-lane or 24-lane)
  • Coarse and fine mating alignment
  • Low profile: 10 mm height
  • Compatible with 12-lane or 24-lane OM3 or OM4 fiber ribbon cable

LightCONEX backplane connector Style B shown here.
LightCONEX backplane connector Style B shown here.

The main components of the backplane connector are:

  1. Face plates. Dedicated face plates are available for VITA 67.3 (apertures C, D, and E) and VITA 66.4.
  2. Insert housing available in styles A, B, C, and Crf. The main components of the housing are:
  3. Primary alignment feature
  4. MT ferrule with alignment pins
  5. Optical cable assembly with springs.

Optical cable options are:

  • 12 fibers MT: 6 in. 12-fiber optical cable with MT12 termination at both ends, alignment pins, and a single MT clip.
  • 24 fibers MT: 6 in. dual 12-fiber optical cable with MT24 termination at one end and dual MT12 termination at the other, alignment pins, and 2 MT clips.

Style A

The LightCONEX backplane connector Style A design is intended for active optical applications utilizing the 0.8-in. plug-in module pitch. It is dedicated for the VITA 66.4 aperture.

  • Primary alignment feature located above the single MT ferrule.
  • Insert housing retrofits into VITA 66.4 aperture (0.8 in. pitch).

Style B

The LightCONEX backplane connector Style B design offers a combination of dual MT ferrule and can provide up to 48 fibers (2 × 24).

  • The lower MT ferule mates with the plug-in module active MT, while the upper one is cabled.

Style C

The LightCONEX backplane connector Style C design offers a single MT ferrule with the upper portion left open for other applications.

Face Plates

Different backplane face plates are available to accommodate VITA apertures. Compatibility is shown in diagram here:

  • 450-00064: Backplane Face Plate (a) for aperture AP1
  • 450-00065: Backplane Face Plate for aperture AP2
  • 450-00066: Backplane Face Plate for aperture AP3
  • 450-00068: Backplane Face Plate (b) for aperture AP4

Different backplane face plates are available to accommodate VITA apertures.


The face plate styles mate with insert styles. The inserts come with the required MT-terminated optical cable(s) and MT ferule(s). Compatibility is shown in diagram here:

  • 450-00069: Backplane Insert Connector Style Aa
  • 450-00042: Backplane Insert Connector Style C
  • 450-00054: Backplane Insert Connector Style B

The face plate styles mate with insert styles


Related Products

Request a Quote

Contact Information

Application Information

Product Information

Quote Information

The reCAPTCHA failed. Please try submitting the form again