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Molex Product News

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Molex Announces the Development of the iPass Interconnect System

LISLE, Ill. - July 20, 2005 - Molex Incorporated has announced the development of the iPassTM Interconnect System. With its increased speeds and high density, it will support standard Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA) high-speed, multi-lane internal and external systems. The iPass System provides host board and backplane connectors, as well as cable assemblies for applications including HBAs (Host Bus Adapters), controller cards, servers, storage racks, switches, RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Discs) controllers devices and JBODs (Just a Bunch of Disks) enclosures.

The complete offering accommodates SAS and SATA speeds ranging from 1.5 Gbps to 6.0 Gbps, with capability up to 10.0Gbps, allowing OEMs and integrators to provide systems with the interconnect granularity and bandwidth that eliminates the need to invest in new connectors for generations to come.

Also, users do not have to test and qualify two different families of connectors because the mating interface is the same for both internal and external applications, saving additional costs.

"Our storage customers turned to Molex to address their needs for an interconnect system that offered higher density and increased speeds," said Jay Neer, strategic product marketing manager, Molex Incorporated. "Molex responded to these needs with the development of the iPass Interconnect System. The system not only delivers higher density and increased speeds, it also offers customers the flexibility needed to grow with their existing systems, in turn lowering their overall applied costs."

The iPass Interconnect System offers a range of solutions for internal and external system applications.

The external product offering includes:

  • SMT Host Connector - The SMT design enables placement on both sides of the PCB for increased port density. With a pitch of 0.08mm, the design also allows for easy routing of traces on the circuit board and standoffs allow for easy PCB cleaning after soldering. Additionally, the basic connector interface has been tested for speeds up to 10 Gbps.
  • EMI Guide Frame Assembly - The Guide Frame is available in one-by-one, one-by-two, and one-by-four configurations to meet the needs of the various systems functionality. It provides the robust mechanical structure required to keep the stresses induced from large, heavy cables separate from the connector interface. The die cast construction features screw attachment to the host board to support the weight of large diameter cables, and an EMI gasket seals the guide to the system bezel. Additionally, the guide provides rugged cast-in keys to support both SAS and SATA requirements.
  • 4X External Cable Assembly - Its high performance paddle-card design with impedance matching helps reduce crosstalk and provide improved signal integrity for storage system applications. The assembly also features a flexible, low-profile, latch-pull mechanism that is easily accessible in high density applications. The reduced size plug supports double the number of ports in the same space as the current SFF-8470 solution. Also, an EMI gasket seals the plug to Guide interface and key slots are provided to mate with the guide keys according to the appropriate standard.

The internal version of the iPass Interconnect System includes:

  • Right Angle and Vertical SMT Host Connector with Hood Kit - This 0.80mm pitch connector includes a hood kit for internal applications. Acting as a disposable pick-and-place cap, its pre-positioning device aligns the connector to the hood for consistent robotic pick and placement. The kit comes with tape and reel packaging for robotic processing. Additionally, retention-fit and SMT PCB mounting options are available on the hoods to satisfy various circuit board assembly processes. Custom keying is also available
  • Internal Cable Assemblies - Delivering up to four times the port density of the current 4X offering, the overmolded internal cable assemblies have a a direct-attached wire termination process. In addition to iPass cable assemblies, transition cables are available to legacy SFF-8484 4X multi-lane connectors, 1X SATA style connectors and to both SAS and SATA disk drive connectors. The cable assemblies provide 100ohm differential impedance with tight skew control and low cross talk. Several cable lengths are offered as standard products and custom lengths are available upon request. The 36-circuit iPass assembly includes up to eight sidebands to support enclosure management functions and to support control lines for SAS applications.

"Achieving the full capabilities of SAS can only be realized with infrastructure investments and innovations such as the Molex iPass Interconnect System", said Harry Mason, President, SCSI Trade Association and Director of Industry Marketing for LSI Logic. "Having an interconnect scheme that accommodates existing SAS and SATA interoperability, while providing the headroom to support future generations of the standard, is extremely important to building confidence in the emerging SAS standard and growing overall market adoption."

The iPass Interconnect System has been approved for use in both the T10/SAS standard, and the SATA IO Organization, and is documented in the SFF Committee standards: SFF-8086, SFF-8087 and SFF-8088. The system is currently offered in limited quantities and will be available for full release in Fall 2005.

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