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For Immediate Release


FCI Expands AirMax VS® Family with BGA Header

ETTERS, PA (January 29, 2007) - FCI, a leading developer of connectors and interconnect systems, further increases the versatility of its AirMax VS® connector system by adding the option for ball grid array (BGA) attachment to its backplane header offering. By combining FCI's proven BGA technology with its innovative shieldless high-speed connector design, the new AirMax VS vertical BGA headers now offer system designers greater flexibility in backplane design and improved electrical performance. Ideal for applications requiring components to be mounted on both sides of the backplane, the BGA termination option also enhances the highest-performing connector in the marketplace by:

  • Optimizing footprint, via and routing options
  • Maximizing advanced PCB manufacturing techniques by utilizing buried and micro-vias
  • Reducing layer count and applied cost
  • Avoiding major backplane re-design.

The resulting system will exhibit lower insertion loss and better impedance match through the footprint by reducing signal reflection.

"The development of BGA backplane termination is built upon the foundation of FCI's BGA connector technology and manufacturing expertise long used on its MEG-Array® and GIG-Array® high-speed mezzanine connectors," said John Burkett, product manager for FCI. "Evaluations of BGA attachment in AirMax VS backplane applications performed over the past two years have repeatedly demonstrated robust and reliable mechanical performance in rigorous qualification tests."

The elimination of the metal shields results in a less cumbersome, lighter connector with fewer termination points, making the AirMax VS BGA connector easier for manufacturers to process, while the BGA signal header allows smaller vias on the backplane, as well as the application of blind or buried vias and vertical and horizontal routing. According to Burkett, BGA termination gives manufacturers the ability to use advanced PCB manufacturing techniques by utilizing buried and micro-vias, can reduce or eliminate the need for backdrilling, and can also reduce layer count and total applied cost.

Utilizing air as the dielectric between adjacent conductors, the AirMax VS connector system offers high-speed computing and networking system designers high signal density and the industry's lowest insertion loss and crosstalk, without the use of costly and space consuming metal shields.

The Insert Molded Leadframe Assembly (IMLA) utilized in AirMax VS connectors enables the same connector to be used for Differential Pair, Single-Ended or Power signals. The design also allows systems to migrate from 2.5Gb/s to 25Gb/s without necessitating redesign of the basic platform. The AirMax VS vertical BGA header connector is initially available in configurations providing 10 columns with 15 contacts per column, supporting 5 differential pairs per column, with either 2mm or 3mm column spacing. These five-pair versions provide the highest signal density available, accommodating 63 differential pairs or 95 single-ended signals per inch.

The AirMax VS vertical BGA headers join the most comprehensive range of high-speed, low-cost connectors available today. The AirMax VS connector family offers a complete system of modular building blocks--including signal connector options that scale among 3, 4 or 5 differential pairs per column along with complementary power and guide modules--to support backplane, co-planar, I/O cabling, and mezzanine board-stacking applications.

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