Technology

Connectivity is key to any computing device, whether it is a display, a smart phone, or an industrial robot. And the key to connectivity is reliability. For more 100 years, the de facto way to connect two devices is the mechanical connector, but the basic construct of the mechanical connector – metal touching metal – has not kept pace with device and application requirements.

Signal integrity, EMI/RFI, and connector reliability, inside and outside of devices, continue to challenge device OEMs. Keyssa brings advanced wireless technology to an age-old problem by developing a solid-state connector that uses Extremely High Frequencies (EHF) to provide low-power, high-speed data transfer – securely and simply between two devices.

By combining the best properties of mmWave semiconductor and system technology, Keyssa delivers solutions for the next generation of connectivity challenges to help our customers innovate and build products in diverse markets from displays and mobile to automotive and industrial.

Acts Like a
Mechanical Connector

Keyssa’s KSS104M, is designed to behave exactly as a mechanical connector behaves with one exception: Keyssa substitutes a high-speed RF link where a mechanical connector requires metal to touch metal. Designed to connect when two Keyssa-enabled devices come into close proximity, the KSS104M is capable of transmitting and receiving a signal at up to 6 Gigabits per second.

  • Small 3 x 3 mm package with onboard antenna.
  • Low power and low latency.
  • Point-to-point connection – instantaneous connect: no pairing, no log in.
  • Hardware solution – no software or drivers required.
  • Supports standard protocols: USB, Ethernet, DisplayPort, SATA, PCIe, low-speed signals.

Performs Better than a
Mechanical Connector

Although designed to behave exactly as a connector behaves, the KSS104M has a number of features and benefits that mechanical connectors do not provide. From security, to flexible tolerances to the reliability of a solid-state device, the KSS104M addresses common weaknesses inherent in mechanical connectors.

  • Better signal integrity.
  • Improved reliability.
  • Much greater mechanical tolerances.
  • Enhanced link security.
  • Immune from interference from commonly deployed wireless technologies.
  • Ability to aggregate disparate high and low-speed signals into a single lane.

Signal Integrity

Keyssa’s solid-state wireless connector transmits its signal a very short distance over air or through the shell of one device to another…no metal between transmitter and receiver, so traditional concerns like distortions and impedance mismatch inherent in mechanical connectors do not apply.

But more than that, Keyssa’s connector has built-in signal processing, equalization, and de-emphasis. With Keyssa’s solution, the signal on the receiving side will have the same properties as the signal on the transmit side, with no degradation or loss of signal strength.

Mechanical Reliability

Keyssa uses its advanced wireless technology to eliminate the plug/receptacle/pad/pin – and replace it with high-speed, point-to-point wireless that acts just like a connector but without the mechanical parts. Eliminating the mechanical structure of the connector has obvious advantages.

Keyssa's connectors do not require friction to mate and maintain the connection. And since wireless connectors are embedded inside the case of a device, they are immune from water, dust, vibration and other environmental hazards that impact the life cycle of mechanical connectors. Most of all, Keyssa's connectors are solid-state: no moving parts means no wear and tear.

Mechanical Tolerances

Mechanical connectors are constricted by the simple nature of being mechanical. A plug must mate with its opposing receptacle…a pin must come into constant contact with its opposing pad.

With Keyssa’s wireless connector, since there is no requirement to physically touch, the need for such tight alignment is eliminated. X/Y alignment tolerances are between +/- 1 to +/- 1.5 mm, providing plenty of tolerance to compensate for manufacturing issues inherent in production and assembly.

Security

Embedded inside of devices, Keyssa’s connector is inherently secure because it is “invisible” to the user. But should an application require additional security, Keyssa offers an optional feature called ID Lockout that secures the link at the connector level.

When enabled, each Keyssa transmitter sends a unique ID which must be authenticated before transmission of data is enabled, fully securing the connector and the data channel so that only authorized devices can connect.

EMI/RFI

A major issue with product design is managing the signal integrity of wireless signals that are emitted both internally inside a device, and externally in the surrounding environs. Wireless signals that occupy the same band can and do collide, resulting in interference and impacting the reliability of the link. This issue is exacerbated by the emissions from mechanical connectors.

Keyssa’s wireless connectors operate in the 60 GHz portion of the spectrum and is immune from emissions from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular radios as well as 5G signals. And since Keyssa connectors are low-power devices, transmitting over a short distance, any spurious emissions quickly dissipate.

Signal Aggregation

Keyssa’s VPIO (Virtual Pipe-I/O) is designed to take in low- and high-speed signals and aggregate them into one virtual channel, send them over a “virtual pipe” to their destination and disaggregate on the other side. Multiple separate pads, pins, and PHYs required for specific protocols can be combined into one pipe and sent over one or more standard SerDes to their destination.

And because Keyssa devices have such low latency, VPIO can turn the chip bus around and manage bi-directional sideband signals. VPIO enables a single-lane, multi-protocol RF link, saving space and eliminating all the pins required to send a large number of parallel signals from one device to another.