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GCT’s PCB-Mounted Push-Pull Smart Card Connectors

GCT’s PCB-mounted push-pull smart card connector range includes a 500,000-cycle connector for less than $2.00.

Global Connector TechnologyGCT smart card connector (GCT) released a new range of PCB-mounted, push-pull smart card connectors, suitable for ISO/IEC 7810 smart cards. The range includes SCC050, an SMT connector with friction contacts and sealed-switch technology that achieves 500,000 cycles at the price point normally associated with 100,000-cycle products.

 The new range suits a variety of applications including point-of-sale (POS), pay TV, set-top box, transportation, and identification. These applications have widely differing requirements in both price and technical features; for example, a retail point-of-sale application requires superb reliability and a very high number of cycles, while a set-top box design, where the card is inserted and extracted infrequently, calls for a low cost and fewer card insertion cycles.

GCT’s range offers a variety of options to suit different application requirements, including through-hole or surface-mount termination, as well as landed and friction contacts with shielded or unshielded options.

Choosing the correct type of contact is an important consideration, as landed and friction contact styles have different characteristics in both cost and number of card insertions.

Landed contacts are a moveable contact set within the connector. They move to connect with the pads of the card post-insertion. The card’s surface is not scratched, and this allows connectors to reach a higher number of cycles – typically 500,000.

Friction contacts are fixed within the connector, so when the card is inserted it wipes over the data contacts until they arrive at the card pads. Depending on the card surface, wiping traces can occur after some insertion cycles, but this does not affect the card function. Friction contacts are a more economical choice and offer a relatively low number of cycles at 100,000.

Card detection is achieved by either a blade or sealed switch. Sealed-switch contacts are sealed within a plastic housing and not exposed to the outside world, while blade-switch contacts are held in the plastic of the connector housing and exposed to the outside world. The construction of the sealed switch is inherently more reliable than the bladed switch. Normally open and normally closed switch types are available.

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