Ethernet in Miniature

Miniature alternative to the RJ45 Ethernet connector is available with high levels of EMC immunity and a capability of being used with ease at PCB level.


erman connectivity specialist, Harting, has introduced the “ix Industrial” connector as a miniaturised Ethernet interface that the company believes will set a new standard for Ethernet connections with an ingress protection

rating of IP20.

DRIVEN BY THE IIoT The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is driving unprecedented levels of connectivity outside of the office or domestic environment. Distribution environments and manufacturing plants are becoming increasingly connected and the dominant communication system is IP over Ethernet. Ethernet hardware is well established and the popular RJ45

connector has become the standard interconnection choice for Ethernet cabling. This extremely versatile and easy-to- use snap-in connector has many advantages but is starting to come under strain in modern industrial applications. According to Harting, the plastic locking tabs are easily

broken in busy manufacturing environments and this can lead to contact problems as the connection works loose. However, of more concern is the size of the connector.

MINIATURISATION ON A GRAND SCALE The Industrial IoT is driving more granular connectivity; small devices and PCBs are having to be attached to networks in a move away from the traditional route of connecting through a card interface installed in a computer. Devices that benefit from miniaturised connectors in

industrial environments include flat mobile devices such as tablets for machine monitoring, displays, smaller automation devices, cameras and sensors. As such devices proliferate, small and rugged connectors, especially ones which can also offer Category 6A performance for 1/10 Gbit/s Ethernet at the control level, have been on the wish list of many users and developers. With the ix Industrial, Harting has introduced 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

16 /// EMC Testing Vol 1 No. 2

❱ ❱ Digital manufacturing and industrial automation are driving innovation in communication technology and connectivity

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 5000 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 at 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 applicable to a range of markets and sectors.

❱ ❱ The ix Industrial Ethernet

connector brings industrial connectivity down to a smaller scale whilst still maintaining high EMC protection

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