Molex buys mmWave contactless connector tech

Molex buys mmWave contactless connector tech

Business news |
Molex acquires the millimetre wave wireless technology and intellectual property of Keyssa to drive commercialization and market penetration of contactless connectors
By Nick Flaherty

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Molex has acquired the core technology and intellectual property (IP) of Keyssa, a California-based pioneer in high-speed contactless connectors.

The mmWave-based wireless chip-to-chip technology includes over 350 filed patent applications. The deal is intended to accelerate Molex’s strategy to further expand and diversify its micro connector portfolio with highly flexible, cable-free connectors for near-field, device-to-device applications.

This follows a deal between STMicroelectronics and connector maker Rosenberger to use 60GHz mmWave technology for contactless connectors.

Molex is ramping a team of more than 25 engineers in the U.S. and India to develop next-generation products based on this technology. Initially, the focus will be on high-volume mobile applications where contactless connectors offer potential benefits in design for manufacturing, serviceability, reliability, signal aggregation and security. Over time, Molex will apply this technology to address emerging application areas in smart factories, automotive advanced safety, medical robotics and more. Design for manufacturability is also enhanced with fully encased, dust- and water-proof packaging with wide alignment tolerances.

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The technology operates at data rates up to 6 Gbps on the 60 GHz band with no WiFi or Bluetooth interference. The tiny, low-power, low-latency, solid-state contactless connectors can solve critical data transmission needs with minimal overhead. Molex plans to advance these current capabilities by supporting exponentially higher data rates and full-duplex communications. Additionally, Molex will leverage its longstanding signal integrity expertise and mmWave antenna capabilities to speed the commercialization of new contactless connectors while complementing its existing portfolio of products.

Molex also will take advantage of the Virtual Pipe I/O (VPIO) technology Keyssa developed to resolve protocol inefficiencies. By aggregating low- and high-speed protocols for simultaneous transmission over one or more links, VPIO can help compensate for real-time events that impact link performance integrity. Used in combination, VPIO and contactless connectors can create extensible and efficient I/O that is free from the limitations of mechanical connectors while being capable of adapting and scaling as dictated by application demands.

“Keyssa’s wireless chip-to-chip technology complements Molex’s developments in mmWave antenna connectivity to meet the growing demands for high data rate transmissions,” said Justin Kerr, vice president and general manager, Micro Solutions Business Unit, Molex. “We constantly push the technology envelope for our mobile and consumer device customers, offering greater product design freedom while supporting next-generation wireless connectivity needs.”

“Molex has a longstanding commitment to invest in world-class solutions that not only solve current problems for leading mobile and consumer device manufacturers, but also anticipate their future challenges,” said Eric VanAlstyne, director, Corporate Development, Molex. “The decision to acquire Keyssa’s technology and IP strengthens our position as a supplier of choice with innovations in both mechanical and contactless connectivity.”

www.molex.com

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