Molex, TE Connectivity collaborate on next-generation data communications

Dec. 13, 2016

Lisle, IL, and Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Two global leaders in the design and manufacturing of connectors for electronic products today announced a Dual Source Alliance (DSA) agreement to each produce a new generation of high-speed I/O and backplane connectors and cable assemblies for data-communications applications.

Molex LLC and TE Connectivity (TE) will collaborate on the launch and promotion of select new connector and cable assembly products that enable the growing number of high-speed applications required as data centers evolve with hyperscale models and increased virtualization. The DSA will support today’s data speeds and up to 56 Gb/s and beyond. The scope of the agreement includes next-generation connector products, and the DSA is intended to build on the successful history with standard second-source agreements for products such as zSFP+ interconnects, zQSFP+ interconnects, CDFP interconnects, microQSFP interconnects, and Nano-Pitch I/O interconnects.

The DSA goes beyond each company simply producing similar products. It is focused on creating increased availability of high-speed solutions—composed of connectors, cages, and cable assemblies—that are interoperable. The DSA includes self-testing: TE and Molex will conduct cross-testing of select products and provide these test reports to customers. This will provide an assurance of product compatibility and help customers minimize their qualification time. Overall, this can result in cost savings for customers, improving the productivity and efficiency of their systems. Also, TE and Molex will bring products covered under the DSA to market in a tighter time frame to better support customers’ design and qualification processes.

Data centers are rapidly evolving to deliver higher density, higher speeds, and richer virtualization models. High-performance, high-speed connectors and cable assemblies must support the system data requirements of new data-storage systems, servers, switches, and routers. These connectivity products typically offer superior high-speed electrical performance, which in turn requires sophisticated connector and cable assembly designs with advanced features for high-speed signaling, EMI containment, and thermal efficiencies. This Molex and TE alliance aims to produce connectors and cable assemblies with these vital characteristics. This agreement is intended to offer increased product availability to customers and reduce the risk of new technology adoption by providing customers with the choice of two independent suppliers with interoperable products.

“The agreement enables TE and Molex to give customers more flexibility and solutions in the future. The data communications industry is changing rapidly due to the growing demand for data and high-speed communications in just about every industry application. Our customers require the most advanced technology and need solutions to help them scale,” said James O’Toole, segment president of TE Connectivity Communications Solutions.

“Molex is pleased to be collaborating with TE Connectivity on this forward-looking alliance,” said Joe Nelligan, COO, Molex. “The market requires next-generation connector technology that will meet demands for higher speeds, and the cooperative venture between our two companies will help address this need through co-tested, dual-sourced products that can be dropped in interchangeably.”

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