Printed Circuit Board
This is one of the largest categories of connector types and is characterized as having termination areas designed for solder of press-fit connections to a printed circuit board. There are 2 primary categories of PCB connectors; board-to-board and wire-to-board. Both of these categories improve manufacturability by allowing equipment to be manufactured in small sub-systems, that later are plugged together. The use of these sub-systems also allows for design flexibility (meeting of customer specific requirements) and easier repair and upgrade of a system in the future. The most common PCB connector types include one-piece card edge; PCI Express, Micro TCA, and VRM connectors and two-piece board-to-board; FFC/FPC, stacking connectors, wire-to-board, DIN41612, PCMCIA, M55302, memory/adapter card sockets, backplane and mezzanine connectors, as well as square/round post headers and receptacles.
This class of interconnects feature through-hole solder tails designed for wave solder processing, surface mount tails for reflow soldering, or compliant pins designed to provide pressure termination to the walls of a plated-through hole. Connectors may also include specific “hold down” mechanisms designed to insure mechanical attachment to the board prior to soldering as well as features that insure drainage of cleaning fluids. All plastic materials, especially those used in surface mounted connectors must be capable of withstanding higher temperatures encountered during the soldering process. Although the mating contacts may feature a variety of plating metallurgies, nearly all PCB connectors utilize pure tin plated solder or compliant pins to satisfy RoHS environmental mandates.