Monday, June 18, 2018
Publication Date: 05/1/2011
Archive >  May 2011 Issue >  Special Features: Components and Distribution > 

Mezalok: Fast, Rugged, MIL-Environment Connector
Mezalock connector.

The need for embedded electronic systems in rugged platforms has been continually increasing and driving more stringent requirements for board-to-board connectivity. At VITA Standards Organization meetings, customers have consistently voiced a need for an improved stacking connector to be used as an alternative to the VITA 42 connector. They wanted a connector to be as least disruptive as possible, but address the issues with thermal cycling durability, mating cycle durability, mechanical robustness and second generation protocols. TE Connectivity engineers responded to these needs by developing a super-fast, super-durable and super-redundant mezzanine connector that is especially suitable for extreme environments.

The new connector is a high-reliability mezzanine connector that more than doubles the speed and durability of competing technology.

"We developed the VITA 61 connector at the request of the rugged embedded community and in support of the aerospace and defense XMC ecosystem." said Greg Powers, market development manager, TE Aerospace, Defense & Marine. "With its M55302 pedigree and refined electrical performance, the Mezalok represents the best in class for mezzanine connectors, further expanding the XMC envelope and allowing designers to leap to the next level."

The new Mezalok connector is a high-reliability mezzanine connector that more than doubles the speed and durability of competing technology, making it the most viable option for today's military and commercial aerospace applications. Using proven Mini-Box contacts, compliant solder tails, and an anti-stubbing design, the new Mezalok connector offers excellent mechanical and thermal cycling stability and footprint compatibility with existing XMC board layouts.

Super-Redundant Mini-Box
At 5GHz+, this rugged, surface mount mezzanine connector incorporates a super-redundant "mini-box" four-point contact system for separable interface and ultra reliability. LCP plastic housings offer superior thermal stability and are low-outgassing. In addition, compliant BGA board attach supports standard surface mount processing and excellent thermal stability.

The original VITA 42 XMC connectors were not designed with military applications as a central design goal. Indeed, users have experienced reliability issues in the demanding environment of military applications, where high levels of vibration and thermal cycling can stress a connector's performance and decrease signal integrity. Users have reported cracked solder joints from thermal cycling and damaged contacts from stubbing during mating.

As a result of these issues and other feedback from customers, TE engineers began a development program to design a new high-reliability XMC connector to meet the demanding requirements of the military.

2G Protocols
TE's new Mezalok connector offers many elemental advantages, such as 5GHz+ for second generation protocols and 500 mating cycles durability compared to current 100 cycle standards. It provides a protected socket end for reliable blind mateability and a sealed mated connection to prevent failure from debris. With 60 and 114 positions for stacking or mezzanine applications, the Mezalok offers 10, 12 and 18mm stacking heights.

The design enhancements that the Mezalok connector offers for XMC applications means that XMC is ready for prime time in military and aerospace applications. The combination of high data rates and a robust design to withstand vibration, shock, and extreme temperatures gives designers of VXS and VPX systems a high-reliability interconnection system. The connector capitalizes on existing technology that is well understood and field proven. Mini-Box contacts have been in use for decades and today support high-speed backplane and now mezzanine interconnections. Likewise, the BGA solder technology, with its compliant design, has been widely used in connectors and high-pin-count sockets with exceptional reliability.

Contact: TE Connectivity, Aerospace, Defense & Marine, 2900 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown, PA 17057 800-522-6752 E-mail: Web: or

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