Electrical connectors are devices that join electrical circuits together. Most connectors are removable or temporary, but some can be permanent. Connectors make electronic products easier to assemble and manufacture. They also ease circuit repairs and allow flexibility in design and modification. They are used extensively on circuits for communications, computers, industrial machinery, and consumer electronics.
Housing is the case or structure used to hold the terminals, stabilize the connection, and protect the contacts from shorting and/or from various environmental hazards. Housing is normally made up of some type of molded plastic, but can be made out of any type of insulator material.
Audio connectors are used to affix cables to other audio equipment, providing electronic signal transference and grounding protection. Applications for audio connectors can be general purpose, telephone, or microphone. Most audio connectors are for commercial purposes, but some may conform to military specifications.
Board mount connectors or circuit board connectors are connectors that can be used as components embedded on a computer board. The boards can be customized to meet the user application.
Circular connectors are multi-pin connectors primarily used for external interfacing. They can be used for data transfer, electrical signal transmissions, or for powering electrical devices. In some cases, circular connectors have been designed to carry what may be referred to as a mixed signal and may be described as a power and control connector. These types of
multi-pin connectors are used for both power and signal transmissions.
Coaxial connectors are composed of an insulated central conducting wire wrapped in another cylindrical conductor (the shield). The cable is usually wrapped in another insulating layer and an outer protective layer. Coaxial cables and connectors have the capacity to carry vast quantities of information. They are typically used in high-speed data and CATV applications.
Card edge connectors (also called edge card connectors) are embedded devices that mate with the edges of single-sided or double-sided printed circuit boards (PCBs) in order to provide an external electrical connection. Industry standards define power specifications such as voltage levels, power pin placements, and power requirements. For example, PICMG 1.0/1.2 standards define the power specifications for peripheral component interconnect (PCI) and industry standard architecture (ISA) buses.
IC interconnect interface or connect microelectronic semiconductor chips to printed circuit boards (PCB) or larger-scale devices. An electronic interconnect device bridges a gap between two conductors and allows the flow of current or light waves from one to the other. Electronic packaging consists of a plastic, ceramic, or metal enclosure that houses an integrated circuit (IC) on a silicon or metal die.