Cables/Connecting

Miniaturised Ethernet interface aims to set the standard

3rd October 2018
Alex Lynn

The new miniaturised Ethernet interface, ix Industrial, from HARTING, aims to set a new standard for IP20 Ethernet connections. Ethernet is the dominant communication standard for industrial applications, and the popular RJ45 connector has become the standard interface for Ethernet connections.

However, with advances in miniaturisation, the RJ45 has now become too large for many applications. In addition, its plastic locking tabs are easily broken in busy manufacturing environments, which can lead to contact problems as the connection works loose.

Consequently, a smaller and more rugged connector, especially one which can also offer Cat. 6A performance for 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet at the control level, has been on the wish list of many users and developers. With the ix Industrial, HARTING is presenting an integrated system which meets all these requirements.

Socket sizes have been reduced by 70% compared to the RJ45, enabling manufacturers to use the ix in much smaller devices. Moreover, the ix combines data transmission and power supply into a single interface, further reducing the area required for connectors. For device integration, a small yet robust socket with five THR shielding contacts is available for maximum stability on the PCB.

The ix connectors are securely locked together by two metal snap-in hooks, ensuring an absolutely secure and vibration-proof connection from the cable to the circuit board for a minimum of 5,000 mating cycles.

With respect to device wiring, users can avail themselves of flexible, thin system cables with a tight bending radius. These can be assembled with the ix mating face on both ends or mixed, for example, with the ix and the RJ45 connector on opposite ends. This enables a gradual adaptation of individual elements in the control level without the need to directly use totally new components.

The ix Industrial also ensures safe data transmission. Thanks to its continuous 360° shield design, it guarantees a high immunity to interference, even in EMC-critical applications.

The HARTING ix Industrial interface is standardised in accordance with IEC/PAS 61076-3-124 and conforms to the shock and vibration resistance levels set out in EN 50155 railway specifications, making it the perfect solution for a range of markets and sectors.

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