Why Keyssa Built a Better Connector: Part 2 – Mechanical Reliability

By Stephan Lang
VP RF Systems Engineering, Keyssa

Think about it. The concept of the mechanical connector was invented over 100 years ago and has remained essentially the same 100 years later. Bring two pieces of metal together to create a connection.

Brisbane, Australia. 1910.
Telephone operators plugging in cables to connect callers.


Perhaps the biggest weakness with current mechanical connectors is just that…they are mechanical devices. And mechanical devices, by their very nature, are subject to wear and tear. Keyssa’s wireless connector is solid-state – embedded under the skin of a device with no moving parts. They do not break down due to wear and tear, and since they are embedded inside the shell of a device, they are not exposed to all the environmental hazards that can render connectors useless:

  1. Water
  2. Dust
  3. Lint
  4. Shards of metal
  5. Corrosion

Add to this list one hazard that no connector can avoid…insertion, where pins can bend, and contact pins and terminals can become unseated. Even if seated properly with the initial insertion, wear and tear can also result in contact retention issues, where contacts lose their connection over time.


It’s Not as if Mechanical Connectors Haven’t Improved

They have; smaller, faster, more reliable. And for the majority of applications, they perform with acceptable reliability. But there are many applications where “acceptable reliability” is not good enough. Especially those applications where uptime of the connection is mission critical, or where ruggedization is essential, or on factory floors, in automobiles, and in any environment where vibration can cause connection failure.


The Answer is Simple: Take the “Mechanical” Out of the Connector

Keyssa’s mission is to reinvent the connector…to use 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, except that it’s not mechanical.

Eliminating the mechanical structure of the connector has obvious advantages. Connectors no longer require friction to mate and maintain the connection.  X, Y, and Z tolerances are much more flexible. And since Keyssa’s 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.

Just as importantly, Keyssa connectors are solid-state technology, which means there are no moving parts – no wear and tear. They have the reliability of a semiconductor device. Where connector life cycles are measured in the number of insertions, Keyssa’s solid-state connector reliability is measured in thousands of years.

Keyssa’s solid-state reliability*
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) in the ‘000s of years
* HTOL testing by Keyssa based on industry standard MTBF calculations

Mechanical connector duty cycles are measured in 000’s of insertions.
Keyssa’s solid-state connector MTBF is measured in 000’s of years


And if you think any of this is at the expense of signal integrity, you are probably thinking of the wireless connection you have at home, or work, or worse yet, your local coffee shop. Keyssa technology is built on turbo-charged 60GHz mmWave technology – lightning fast, generations beyond your father’s Wi-Fi. As a proof point, Keyssa connectors’ Bit Error Rate (a measure of the number of bit errors that occur in a given number of bit transmissions) is 10-15, better than the vast majority of high-speed mechanical connectors we use every day.


For more information on Keyssa’s signal integrity, please see:

Why Keyssa Built a Better Connector: Part 1 – Signal Integrity

For more information on reliability of Keyssa’s connector versus RJ45 connectors, please see:

Whitepaper: Reliability and Security of Keyssa’s Solid-state Connectors

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