WDD readers identify the prominent challenges and obstacles for interconnects/connectors.

Interconnects and connectors are important components for various electronics systems. Modern day electronics systems require smaller and more complex IC interconnects, connectors, and electronics packaging to help add convenience and flexibility to an end product. Feedback from Wireless Design and Development (WDD) readers suggests how interconnect and connector design and/or packaging, cost controls, and area suggests how layout/environmental factors present the biggest challenges when trying to integrate the components.


In a recent survey, a majority of the WDD readers agreed that the number of contacts (63%) was the primary specification to consider when implementing interconnects/connectors into their designs. Others reported the following from the multiple answers available:

  • 51% suggested materials.
  • 48% cited current.
  • 44% identified contact pitch.
  • 35% thought output power was important.
  • 33% stated that operating temperature was essential.
  • 26% cited supply voltage.

The number of contacts is essential because it would be the specification that determines design decisions on other aspects of the end products.
However, 13% of WDD’s readers pointed to other specifications, which included:

  • Impedance.
  • Mechanical-form factor.
  • Durability.
  • Signal integrity.
  • Shielding.
  • Electromagnetic compatibility.

Challenges with Integrating Interconnects/Connectors

There are various challenges that engineers face when integrating interconnects/connectors into their designs. 51% of WDD’s readers stated that connector design and/or packaging was a huge challenge they faced when considering the design process. Others suggested the following:

  • Cost controls – 50%.
  • Area layout/environmental factors – 48%.
  • Electromagnetic interference – 43%.
  • Parameter variations – 23%.
  • Power consumption – 21%.

A small percentage identified signal integrity and passive intermodulation distortion as major challenges, but with the increase in demand for smaller and more complex devices that offer convenience and flexibility, it is apparent why design and/or packaging presents the biggest challenges to the designers.

Design Obstacles

WDD’s readers identified cost (56%) as their greatest obstacle. Energy efficiency and sustainability (17%) were identified as the second largest, and time-to-market (12%) didn’t trail too far behind. Other readers identified security (6%) and RoHS requirements (3%) as the least concerning obstacles.

Trends & Future Development

A majority identified cost and a decrease in size as the major trends occurring in the interconnect/connector markets. Others suggested environmental issues, power consumption and design, PIN density and IP requirements, security, and materials. When asked about the future developments of interconnects/connectors, 29% of WDD’s readers identified design as the number one influence. Others claimed the following:

  • Standards – 26%.
  • Miniaturization – 22%.
  • Power consumption – 10%.
  • Packaging – 5%.
  • Security – 4%.