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Molex Product News

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Molex Announces New SMI Plastic Optical Fiber 1394 Connector With Transceiver For Home Networking Applications

LISLE, Ill. December 2, 2004 Molex Incorporated (NASDAQ: MOLXE and MOLAE) has announced the development and first samples of a new IEEE 1394 Small Multimedia Interface (SMI) Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) connector and transceiver system to help enable home and industrial networking applications between various electronic devices.

Molex's new duplex-style SMI POF connector system is the first plastic fiber optic connector system able to operate at S200 (250 Mbps) speeds for up to 50 meters. The system meets 1394b high-speed signaling specifications, and can accommodate S400 bandwidth as new light sources are introduced. It can handle multiple data streams of video and audio at the same time to link devices such as high definition TVs, set-top boxes, various digital media recorders, audio units and PCs. The SMI POF connector system also offers low insertion loss for good signal integrity and the FOTs are shielded for good electromagnetic (EMI) interference characteristics.

Molex's SMI POF connector system features a duplex style fiber optics assembly that includes light sources developed by Firecomms, Ltd. The Firecomms transceiver is an active component that converts the fiber optic light source into an electrical signal. Molex's SMI POF connector system is expected to be used initially in stand-alone and wall-plate repeater boxes; networking applications; and possibly installed directly into set-top boxes, plasma and LCD flat display screens and other home wall consumer appliances.

The Molex SMI POF system features a unique push-pull type cable plug that allows a "safe" disconnect without any damage to the FOT or cable plug. In the family of products a plastic coupler is available for making optical in-line connections as needed. The coupler can also be mounted into a standard wall-plate for pass through applications.

"The timing of these new SMI component systems is perfect for meeting the recent emergence of high bandwidth consumer devices such as high definition TV and home networking," said Declan O'Mahoney, CEO of Firecomms. "The small size and ease of use of the Molex SMI system delivers the ideal interconnect for POF home networks."

Molex's new SMI connectors are available in a light gray style with a consumer-friendly latch design that provides a tactile "click" to confirm mating. The easy-to-use latching system allows connections and disconnections only if pulled while holding the connector in order to prevent accidental disconnect. This new system is half the size of previous PN-type plastic fiber connectors. It can be used with different types of SI (Stepped Index) POF cable and offers a light, reliable, low-cost connection method for home networking, all in a form factor about the same size as the RJ-45 industry standard.

Molex is committed to developing similar IDB-1394 Automotive POF products using the same light sources for scales of economy and manufacturing. An announcement on these new automotive POF products is scheduled for early 2005.

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