Contactless connectors among emerging tech: report
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Connectivity industry report from Molex reveals robust future of technology advancements, product innovations
Global connectivity innovator, Molex has released a new industry report that highlights opportunities and obstacles facing product design engineers as the future of connectivity continues to unfold. The report delivers insights into the transformative powers of next-generation connectivity, which is poised to unlock ground-breaking product innovations.
“From factory floors and hyperscale data centers to self-driving vehicles and smart, energy-efficient homes, connectivity innovations are shaping our technology future,” said Molex CEO Joe Nelligan. “Every step forward requires cross-disciplinary engineering, world-class manufacturing and constant collaboration with customers to push the boundaries of high-speed, high-power connectors. We’re excited to serve as a catalyst in this global push to lead the evolution of connectivity while accelerating the evolution of life-changing solutions.”
Leading-edge connectivity is the cornerstone of new products and solutions found in every industry and application area. To help product designers and engineers prepare for what lies ahead, Molex subject matter experts took a closer look at innovations on the rise, including:
- Next-generation, contactless connectivity
- Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications
- Connected, energy-independent homes
- Centralized, hyperscale hubs of connectivity
Timely observations shed light on the trajectory of these important innovations, as well as their ever-increasing impact on automobiles, consumer devices, factories, medical wearables, smartphones, smart homes, data centers and more. Additionally, Molex experts offer perspectives on the critical role that connectivity plays in driving the creation of new business models, such as Transportation-as-a-Service, which challenges conventional vehicle ownership.
Paving the Way for Contactless Connectivity
Contactless connectors use miniaturized radio frequency (RF) transceivers and receivers to enable devices to communicate and exchange data without requiring physical contact between them. They also support much higher data rates than previously possible with existing wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Distinct reliability and durability advantages over physical, metal-to-metal contacts make contactless connectors ideal for video displays, harsh environments, sleek and light consumer electronics, as well as industrial robotics. The pace of development in this area is gaining momentum as companies realize opportunities for streamlined product designs, reduced costs and seamless device pairing.
Navigating the Road Ahead for V2X Antennas
Ongoing developments in antennas, sensors and connectors are among the most relevant enablers of evolving vehicle-to-everything (V2X) capabilities. Backed by a decade-long roadmap of 5G V2X projects and established industry leadership in shark-fin antenna development, Molex has set a steady pace of innovation in support of self-driving vehicles. Close collaboration with automakers and suppliers is essential to defining optimal antenna placement and performance. Additionally, advancements in non-conductive materials will allow future connected vehicles to incorporate seamless designs without sacrificing connectivity to satellites, Wi-Fi networks and other systems.
Powering Connected, Energy-Efficient Homes of the Future
Tomorrow’s connected homes will combine Internet of Things (IoT) functionality with battery storage systems to ensure greater control and visibility over energy production and usage. Innovations in energy management, such as mini-inverters for solar panels and smart battery management systems, will improve energy-usage efficiency and control. These storage systems are expected to play a crucial role in the intelligent monitoring and routing of power where it’s needed most. Molex’s continued focus in this area led to the development of the Volfinity Cell Contacting System, which was selected by BMW last Spring for its next-gen electric vehicle (EV) class.
Forming Connected, Hyperscale Hubs
Hyperscale data centers built on 224G system architectures will enable Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help consumers optimize energy consumption while empowering businesses to keep pace with relentless requirements for real-time data processing. The rapid adoption of generative AI is forcing hyperscale data centers to evolve, prompting Molex to pioneer 224 Gbps-PAM4 architecture. Molex’s first-to-market 224G product portfolio offers unparalleled flexibility and scalability, along with superior signal integrity and robust mechanical composition.