SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Qualification of High Density Connector Solutions for Military and Avionic Environments

Authors: Kim Cho, Tim Pearson, David Hillman, Ross Wilcoxon
Company: Collins Aerospace
Date Published: 9/22/2019   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: This paper discusses the qualification of high density connector solutions for rugged military and avionics environments. As electronic products become progressively smaller in size, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for miniature, electronic components and the development of high density connectors. The consumer electronics industry has already implemented high density connectors while many avionics/military products still use traditional surface mount and plated through-hole connectors. These traditional connectors are increasingly too large and cannot meet the signal capacity requirements of modern avionics/military product designs within the limited available printed circuit board space. In this study, two major types of high density connectors, the fine-pitch leaded style and the area-array style, were installed on test boards using automated assembly with tin-lead and lead-free soldering processes. The assemblies were subjected to -55°C to +125°C thermal cycle testing in accordance with the IPC-9701 specification, Performance Tests Methods and Qualification Requirements for Surface Mount Solder Attachments. The first part of this paper discusses the results and observations from the new testing of fine-pitch style (Samtec LSHM) and area-array style (Samtec LPAM/LPAF) connectors. The second part of this paper compares the data for the Samtec LSHM to previously tested area-array connectors (Samtec SEAM/SEAF). Tradeoffs between these two types of connectors, including producibility, reliability, printed circuit board (PCB) space usage, rework, ease of assembly, and defect identification, are discussed.

Key Words: 

high density connectors, thermal cycle testing, fine-pitch leaded, area-array

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