3M Company, a diversified technology company, has introduced a new Ultra Hard Metric (UHM) Socket Connector at the Embedded World Conference in Nuremberg, Germany. The new UHM Socket Connector delivers over 7 Gbps backplane performance for systems based on 2 mm hard-metric connectors. The new connector enables design engineers working with 2 mm hard-metric-based designs to increase overall system performance and preserve their existing investment.

The new UHM socket connector is designed to mate with 2 mm hard-metric header connectors (IEC 61076-4-101). 2 mm hard-metric connectors are backplane connectors representing a greater than $200 million annual market growing at a rate of 12 to 14% annually. The company’s virtual coaxial box shielding technology reduces the severe crosstalk commonly experienced by 2 mm hard-metric connectors at 1 to 1.5 Gbps speeds, enabling the new UHM socket connectors to achieve speeds greater than 7 Gbps.

“The “virtual coaxial box” shielding technology from 3M is designed to dramatically reduce crosstalk and improve insertion loss when compared to standard 2 mm hard-metric sockets,” said David Schneider, global business manager of Interconnect Solutions for 3M Electronic Solutions Division. “By increasing performance speeds to 7 Gbps or greater while maintaining PCB-footprint compatibility and intermateability, the new connector from 3M preserves the engineering investment in existing VME and cPCI designs and helps extend the life of these highly successful global standards.”

Because the UHM socket connector is designed to be intermateable to 2 mm hard metric IEC 61076-4-101 headers and fully compatible with 2 mm hard-metric PCB footprints, the new UHM socket connector enables multi-gigabit performance in existing 2 mm hard-metric system designs. As a result, standard Compact PCI and VME 64x systems can support multi-gigabit, high-speed serial IO protocols such as SAS, SATA, Rapid IO, PCI Express and Gigabit Ethernet without costly backplane redesigns or forklift upgrades.

“With the new UHM socket connector from 3M, we are able to offer not only faster, but also more reliable IO data transfer rates for our systems using high-performance storage systems and interconnections,” said Philippe Vincent, director of Sales and Marketing, Kontron Modular Computers SAS. “With 3M quality and reliability in our systems, we can confidently assure our customers of system integrity as well as performance.”

The modular design of the UHM socket connector also gives system design engineers the flexibility to design the right level of signal integrity while satisfying required mechanical constraints. Five-row (A, B, CL, CR, AB) and eight- row (D, E, DE, FL, FR) form factors are available for high signal density. In addition, the socket supports 100 ohm differential pairs in rows or columns.