The BIG Deal About Connectors in Mobile Devices

Guest Blog Post
David Pheteplace, Senior VP, Bishop & Associates

Bishop & Associates is about connectors and interconnect research and metrics. I spend most of my working days thinking about connectors. Where are they used? How many are used? What are the benefits of different connector types and what are the problems? Ad infinitum. You might say I am obsessed. So why are mobile device connectors such a BIG deal?

Electronic equipment, such as computers, mobile phones and tablets, are really a cluster of electronic subsystems including circuit boards, flat screens, cameras, speakers, antennas, buttons, etc. These electronic clusters are joined together by electronic connectors which makes the assembly process easier. These connectors are also one of the means by which the device accesses the outside world. The BIG problem is that the connectors are often larger than the space that the engineers want to make available for them in these devices. If the height of the connector is more than the thickness of the smartphone, the engineer has a problem.

The second BIG issue is the speed that the connectors can carry information into and out of mobile devices. The small, multi-pin connectors that are typically employed in mobile devices are usually not physically capable (that is, physics-wise) of carrying high-speed signals needed to transfer BIG data. This is an issue in mobile devices when the user is frequently trying to access or transfer very large files such as videos. These connector are often limited to speeds of less than 500 Mps (megabits per second). This sounds pretty good until you need to transfer a three gigabyte video file.

Mobile device usage is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 10%. In 2014, 1,650 million units are expected to be sold, including smartphone, tablets and notebook. This number is expected to grow to 2,675 million units in 2019. The amount of data these devices are dealing with is also growing. In 2013, the mobile network traffic was 1.5 exabytes of data per month. By 2018, the mobile data traffic is expected to grow to almost 16 exabytes and the service providers do not anticipate being able to keep up with this volume of data.

Clearly, other solutions must be found to off-load some of the data from the mobile network and to provide for non-network transfer of large data file. Keyssa connectors can provide that solution today. The connectors fit easily into mobile device packages and they provide the speeds needed to transmit large amounts of data quickly (speeds up to 6 Gbps). Bishop forecast that the Keyssa connector could develop into almost a $2 billion market in 2019.

You can read more about Keyssa connectors, market forecasts and other wireless transmission devices in the Bishop report, Evolving Wireless Power and Data Interconnects.

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