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Optical Backplane Connectors

The LightCONEX® optical interconnect family includes plug-in and backplane module connectors that have been developed to be compliant with the forthcoming VITA 66.5 standard and in alignment with the SOSA technical standard. These active blind-mate optical interconnects are revolutionary solutions for VPX systems and meet the stringent SWaP requirements of today’s defense applications in which high-bandwidth fiber optic transceivers are replacing copper interconnects.

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Features & Benefits

The backplane connector has a spring-loaded mechanical transfer (MT) ferrule to ensure a secure MT-to-MT mating connection under extreme shock and vibration conditions.

  • Increases volumetric density of 3U and 6U high-speed switch and payload VPX boards by integrating optical transceiver into plug-in connector.
  • Intermateability with VITA 66.5-defined backplane connectors enables multiple sources and drives faster design cycles.
  • Reduces optical interconnect SWaP with rugged MIL-STD qualified edge-mounted optical interconnects.
  • Enables ultra-high bandwidth port bandwidth density of up to 700 Gbps full-duplex in a half-width slot.
  • Simplifies VPX board assembly and rework by eliminating fiber pigtail on edge-mount transceiver.


  • 10.3125G
    • 4TRX (40G, full duplex)
    • 12TX or 12RX (120G)
    • 12TRX (120G, full duplex)
  • 28G
    • 4TRX (100G, full duplex),
    • 12TX or 12RX (300G), in development


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

The backplane connector is VITA 66.4 backplane cut-out compatible and includes springs to ensure a secure MT to MT mating connection under extreme shock and vibration conditions

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Optical Backplane Module

The LightCONEX® optical backplane module connector consists of a connector shell and insert. The shell is designed to provide float for the insert 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.

The main components of the backplane module connector are:

  1. LightCONEX Backplane Style-C components diagramConnector shells. Dedicated shells are available for VITA 67.3 apertures (modules types C, D, E, and F).
  2. Connector inserts. Different backplane connector shells are available to accommodate VITA 67.3 apertures. The main components of the insert are:
  3. Tab primary guiding feature
  4. MT ferrule(s) with alignment pin
  5. Optical cable (several options available)

Connector shells

Different backplane connector shells are available to accommodate VITA apertures:

tyle A is dedicated for the VITA 66.4 aperture


Backplane connector shells for:

  • Module Type F
  • Module Type D
  • Module Type C
  • Module Type E

Connector inserts

The LightCONEX backplane connectors inserts are available in three styles:

LightCONEX backplane inserts

Related Products

  • Image of LightCONEX LC Series

    LightCONEX LC Series

    Active blind mate optical interconnect for VPX systems that includes a fixed plug-in module connector and a floating backplane connector compatible with proposed VITA 66.5 standard. 

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