Giving network and telecommunications design engineers an advanced modular connection system that delivers high speed performance with a more flexible and reliable method of assembly, Hirose Electric Co. Ltd. has developed the next generation of its high density board-to-board connector family. Designated the IT3 Series Mezzanine Connector, the three-piece modular system provides easier assembly, reliable X-ray inspection, better reflow performance and higher production yield between two parallel PC boards, without sacrificing overall connector performance.

According to Tats Arai, senior vice president at Hirose Electric (USA) Inc., the IT3 Series connector system represents an advancement over existing two-piece mezzanine connector designs, by providing two board-mounted receptacles of the same low profile and a variable height interposer to accommodate different board spacing requirements. “The new IT3 connector design simplifies the automated reflow assembly process, resulting in reduced solder joint failure and significantly higher production yields in any configuration or application.”

Hirose’s IT3 Mezzanine Connector system features a three-piece modular design consisting of two low profile receptacles mounted to each parallel PC board with BGA solder balls mounted in a staggered array of 1.5 mm by 1.75 mm pitch. A floating interposer module connects the two mounted receptacles and reduces the possibility of mechanical damage to the BGA joints. Compatible with industry standard footprints, the IT3 Series connector system is currently available in 100-, 200- and 300-position modules, with interposers for board stack heights from 15 to 40 mm.

The IT3 Series connectors are rated at 50 ohm single ended impedance and 100 ohm differential impedance. BGA solder balls are available in standard eutectic tin-lead (Sn63-Pb37) or lead-free (Sn-Ag3.0-Cu0.5). IT3 Series connectors are qualified to EIA-364-1000 for environmental performance and IPC-9701 for long-term solder joint reliability.

Hirose recently announced an agreement with Tyco Electronics to provide a second source for the IT3 Series connectors under the Tyco brand name STRADA MZConn3 Series. The company expects dual sourced product to be available to customers from Tyco in mid-2009.