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Elevating Connectivity: Exploring the Versatility of Smiths Interconnect's Backplane Connectors


To meet the demands of mission-critical applications, Smiths Interconnect offers a comprehensive range of backplane connectors that known for their performance and reliability. In this blog post, we talk about the significance of backplane connectors and the innovative solutions provided by Smiths Interconnect.

Understanding Backplane Connectors

A backplane is a central circuit board that serves as a backbone to interconnect various electronic components within a system. Backplane connectors, as the name suggests, are the interface points on the central board that facilitate the connection of various modules, cards, or other devices. They play a crucial role in enabling communication and data transfer between different elements of a system, ensuring seamless functionality.

Versatility in Design

Smiths Interconnect's backplane connectors are engineered with flexibility in mind. They come in various sizes and configurations to accommodate the diverse needs of different applications. Whether it's a compact aerospace system or an extensive defense network, these connectors offer flexibility in design without compromising on performance.

SOSA Aligned Optical Connectors

One of the standout features of Smiths Interconnect's Optical backplane connectors is their alignment with the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) standard. By incorporating optical technology, these connectors bring forth high-speed data transfer capabilities. This not only enhances performance but also positions the systems for future technological advancements, ensuring longevity and adaptability in a rapidly evolving landscape.

2mm Backplane Connectors

Today, products available for the space market require expensive qualification testing where costs are fully absorbed by the customer. As the first Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Plus 2mm Hard Metric backplane connector, SpaceNXT™ Aurora Series has undergone rigorous testing and qualification to meet the stringent requirements of ESA ESCC 3401 specifications. By combining the benefits of COTS components with the precision of a 2mm Hard Metric design, the Aurora Series offers a robust and adaptable solution for space applications that help customers reduce their lead times, lower their cost of ownership, and increase their confidence that products will meet their specifications and needs.

The 2mm / cPCI Series utilize the superior Hypertac hyperboloid contact technology, which known for its immunity to shock and vibration fretting. Configured on a 2mm center-line with six rows, the 0.4 mm Hypertac contacts in the backplane provide a current rating of 1 A and data rate performance up to 3.125 Gbps with less than 8 mΩ contact resistance. Built in reverse gender configuration versus COTS hard metric connectors, the system is available with 95 and 110 way version. The solution is fully interchangeable with Compact PCI COTS (commercial off the shelf) systems, complies with IEC 1076-4-101, and it is the only cPCI connectors approved by NASA for spaceflight.

VITA Standard Connectors

Space Qualified Rugged High Speed, VITA Backplane Connectors are compatible with VITA 46, 47 and 78 (Space) standards. The design ensures seamless integration with VME-based systems. The KVPX series is best suited and positioned for data intensive applications where high throughput and high computes are the critical factors. Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), radar applications and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM).

Ultra-High Density Interconnects

Today, space satellites are moving away from RF Analog based payloads providing low speed telecommunication signaling, to a new Digital Transparent Processor architecture for high throughput satellites. Those architectures increase the demand for rugged and higher speed connectivity. To meet those industry needs, Smiths Interconnect has developed the NXS Series, an advanced high speed, high density interconnect to provide next generation data on demand. Equipped with the Hypertac® hyperboloid contact technology the NXS system can withstand data rate application up to 50 Gbps (per channel) requirements, including extreme levels of vibration, shock and climatic testing above 2100 g. The NXS Series is designed in a robust construction with 4 or 12 high speed quadrax (dual-twinax) modules.


Smiths Interconnect's backplane connectors are not just components; they are the linchpin of connectivity in mission-critical systems. With their versatility, adherence to standards, and incorporation of cutting-edge technology, these connectors ensure that electronic systems operate at their peak performance.


Related Products

  • Image of KVPX Series

    KVPX Series

    Embedded interconnect system meeting the VITA standard design requirements for applications performed in harsh environments.

  • Image of SpaceNXT™ Aurora Series

    SpaceNXT™ Aurora Series

    COTS Plus 2mm hard metric connector for Compact PCI applications of Commercial Aerospace, Space and Defense markets.

  • Image of 2mm / cPCI Series

    2mm / cPCI Series

    Compliant PICMG Compact PCI standard solution that is Interchangeable with cPCI COTS Systems.

  • Image of Backplane Twinax Connectors

    Backplane Twinax Connectors

    Data sampling rates exceeding 2 Gbits/second can be driven via matched impedance differential pair interconnections for board-to-board high speed data transfer as well as blind mate I/O plug in modular applications.

  • Image of NXS Series

    NXS Series

    Can withstand data rate applications up to 50 Gbps per bay requirements, including extreme levels of vibration, shock and climatic testing above 2100 G. Robust construction with 4 or 12 high speed quadrax (dual-twinax) modules.

  • Image of Optical Backplane Connectors

    Optical Backplane Connectors

    Complies with the ANSI/VITA 66.4 mating requirements with the MT ferrule displacement occurring within the backplane connector.

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