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Rise of the Connector as Modern Day Digital Influencer
Varun Chandramohan, Amphenol ICC
Today, we exist in an increasingly connected world of products, services, communication tools, and transportation networks that are designed to help increase our standard of living, make us smarter, and bring us closer to the people and places we care about.
Fundamental to this is electronics, which have evolved over the past four decades per Moore’s Law, an observation that the number of transistors inside of chips will expand two-fold every two years. As a result, transistors are packaged far more densely than ever and breakthrough nano-scale devices are now assembled on multi-layer circuit boards.
Beyond the chip, other components play critical roles as well. What if boards weren’t tethered by wires? A car’s audio system, for instance, won’t function if PCB-wire bonding is broken due to shock, strain, or vibration. Connectors, however, add durability and reliability. In a smart watch, connectors sewn into tiny boards enable it to provide reliable heart rate readings, for example, and connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), the connected technology that makes cities smarter, vehicles safer, and factories autonomous.
» Miniature connectors inside a smart watch (Courtesy: ifixit)
Connectors are making inroads into the furthermost corners of our lives as digital influencers.
5G, IoT, and data center
5G, the fifth generation mobile technology standard, caters to smart phones and also to a vast collection of nodes and sensors in devices used in the commercial, transportation, and medical sectors. These IoT devices are deployed with specific IP addresses and constantly communicate with each other using low amounts of power. Numerous traffic channels are simultaneously processed and routed through 5G antennas, baseband units, long haul fiber optic cabling, and edge-based data centers. Bandwidth must be adequate to prevent latency, as lags in data transfer would negatively impact performance across the network.
All this cloud-based connectivity depends on data centers. Initially, data centers were complex and centrally located. Modern data centers are decentralized and compact, providing greater computing power with a lower carbon footprint and reduced user costs. Hyperscale virtual computing based on commercial off-the-shelf servers replicates the nuances of compute, storage, and networking handled by dedicated hardware like SAN, NAS, routers, or switches. This promotes the scalability, modularity, and simplicity required for edge colocation deployments. Open standards

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