Mini-coax: How Does it Benefit High-density Electronic Applications? 

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

As the amount of processing data is increasing, the devices need to get faster. FPC and FFC were the only standards for transferring signals between device module boards. Consumers are now using coaxial cables since it is more suitable. Also, innovations like mini-coax ribbon cables are more durable and fit perfectly in tighter places. 

Wiring Box
Wiring Box

What is Mini-Coax?

Mini coax or Micro coaxial cable has a smaller diameter than its other family members and hence the name. It has 50 Ohm impedance, is lighter in weight, and has lower capacitance with less signal loss. Also, you may see it within devices that need high-frequency connectivity, especially where the articulating parts or hinges are present.

One of the most sought benefits of mini-coax is that it is best for concise spaces. Moreover, micro-coax has the basic coaxial cable structure while having a stranded center of conductor and shielded outer layer. Hence, mini-coax ribbon cables are becoming a popular option in high-density electronic applications.

Coaxial Cable bundle

Caption: Coaxial Cable bundle

The application of Mini-Coax

Nowadays, tech companies are willing to create cost-effective, high-performance cables that take less space and provide high-speed data transfer. Moreover, these space constraints force them to rely on high-density RF solutions with good signal integrity and reliability over miniature housing.

Avionics

With increasing application needs spread throughout the plane’s structure, avionics applications take up limited space. Moreover, the number of antennas on a plane was as low as 12, but today there are as many as 50. In some cases, even hundreds—serving complex avionics systems are present on every aircraft. 

Increasing the number of antennas in an aircraft increases the number of signal paths and, consequently, the number of RF interconnect solutions required.

5G

 As more customers switch to 5G, you will need more antennas for coverage at different frequencies. Moreover, 5G requires antenna density to increase transfer speed, dependability, availability, and network capacity. As 5G networks use higher frequency bands to accommodate growing capacity needs, antennas shrink. Also, antennas present in smaller places mean more RF links.

5G small cells, such as microcells, are closer than normal cells, often just 100 yards away. Thus, it would help if you had high-density wiring solutions for smaller, more compact installations.

Space

Space technology needs light, small, reliable equipment and can handle high amounts of shock, radiation, vibration, and a wide temperature range. Thus, RF cable assembly is important to work reliably while taking up less space. Higher frequency cables should be present for low-loss communications.

Aircraft wiring

Caption: Aircraft wiring

High-Density RF Interconnection Solutions

There are a lot of options that are made to fit the needs of a particular industry or application. From individual assemblies of coax connectors to one connection port, high-density RF solutions have changed over time. Everyday needs in these places are easy installation, high vibration endurance, and seals for the environment.

Multiport And Mini-Multiport Connectors

Mini-multiport and multiport connector alternatives are perfect for aircraft systems where space and maintenance access is limited and performance is goal-oriented. Thus, these connectors have several coaxial contacts with the same interface built into a single component or shell. 

There are many choices for these connectors, including ones that are smaller, lighter, and have good electrostatic shielding with lower VSWR and insertion loss up to 20 GHz for multiport adapters and 40 GHz for mini coax connectors.

Bundled Cable Solutions

A bundled cable arrangement can offer the optimal flexible aerial jumper for 5G. It spirals various jumper cables for easier installation and functioning under a single jacket. Moreover, individual coax cable lines are twisted together, so they flex readily, creating a bulk coax cable.

Bundled solutions are ideal for high-density issues because you can install them in small places instead of several thin strands. They’re faster and easier to set up and maintain. Also, they provide a dependable connection for excellent performance.

Locking Miniature Blind Mates

The latest type of locking miniature blind mate connectors (TLMB) can fix problems with performance that you may face in SMP connectors. These included electromagnetic interference and compatibility problems, salt and liquid ingress, and more.

Their rough design makes them more durable and able to work in harsh environments. Moreover, TLMB connectors keep the small size of the SMP for settings with many people. Still, they have better environmental, power, and shielding capabilities and can work at frequencies from DC to 60 GHz.

Cable Assemblies for Densely Packed In-The-Box Applications

You can bend the network cable assemblies in tight edges and closer to the connector to take up less space. It makes it easier to route cables in crowded places. Manufacturers initially created this type of high-performance assembly for space flight. Moreover, it uses a small, phase-stable, flexible micro coax cable that can easily fit small applications.

Ribbon Multi-conductor, Micro Coaxial Cable Assemblies

Impedance-matched ribbon multi-conductor cable offers high data streaming into congested areas, meeting the performance expectations of today’s networks and servers.

The multi-conductor cable assembly combines ease of installation with outstanding electrical performance for high-end servers, telecom, networks, and test equipment. Moreover, ribbon cables improve screws due to cable length differences and discrepancies. Thus you can find these cables as 50 Ohm cable assembly with BER performance and signal integrity.

Flat ribbon Rainbow wire

Caption: Flat ribbon Rainbow wire

Why is Mini-Coax Cable Preferred over FFC and FPC?

Here are some of the significant causes why electricians choose micro-coaxial cables for sending signals.

Signal Transmission Advantages of Micro-Coaxial Cable

Several parameters, such as impedances, bit error rate, return loss, and crosstalk, influence the signal sent. 

Return Loss Reduction: In micro-coaxial cables, you can match and stabilize the center conductor, outer conductor, and dielectric at a specific impedance. With aligned and stable impedance, the return loss is low.

Insertion Loss Reduction: Compared to FPC/FFC, the center conductor of a micro coax can have a more extensive cross-sectional area as you match it to a specific impedance. Thus, it reduces insertion loss as little as possible.

High shielding performance: The outer conductor acts as an electromagnetic shield. Hence, electromagnetic noise from the surrounding has a more negligible effect on the electric signals sent to the center conductor. Moreover, the outer wire also helps reduce the crosstalk among signal lines because it acts as a shield.

Mechanical Advantages of Micro-Coaxial Cable

Unlike insulated FPC and FFC, the micro-coaxial cable is much more flexible and can maintain its electrical properties even if you twist it. Also, if you have a gadget with a hinge and need the wires to be moved around and routed inside the device, flexible mini cables are the way to go. 

Coaxial Cable for televisions and networks

Caption: Coaxial Cable for televisions and networks

Conclusion

In light of the increasing range of applications requiring high-resolution cameras and panels, micro-coaxial cables with signal power qualities and structural advantages are becoming increasingly popular. Cable-to-board, Board-to-board, and cable-to-cable data transmission are all possible with the Mini Coax. Cloom assembles Mini Coax connections with the appropriate cable type per customer specifications for optimal transmission line performance. Additionally, applications up to 2.5 GHz are available using a 50 Ohm connection in our cable company. Devices can be integrated using different contacts in press-in technology. The over-molding of the connector ensures that the wire and connector are securely connected.

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