Welcome to the training module on Molex GbX I-Trac™ Backplane Connector System. This training module introduce the GbX I-Trac™ Backplane Connector System. The training outline will cover Backplane architecture overview, GbX I-Trac™ backplane overview, Part number guide, I-Trac™ routing guide, and I-Trac™ reference backplane.
There are typically three approaches in backplane architecture, backplanes, midplanes, and orthogonal midplanes. Orthogonal midplanes provide a basic cross-connection between all system data points, with a right-angle connector on the daughtercard side and a vertical connector on the backplane or midplane side. Most traditional backplane connectors are designed to run the industry standard and application-defined slot pitches and rack sizes, making them a common choice for system design. Orthogonal connector systems have been around for a while. They were originally single-ended systems supporting single-ended silicon. Now that the silicon has transitioned to differential signals, new orthogonal backplane interconnects have been developed to support this transition from daughtercard-to-daughtercard, through the shared vias in the midplane, while maintaining the signal-integrity performance of the channel. Primary requirements to consider when choosing a backplane interconnect solution include high-speed data rates whether single-ended or differential, number of low-speed single-ended lines, total power required for each application or system, and the total dimensional envelope, being the height or slot width, the length or linear space available, and the depth which is typically defined as the edge of the daughtercard to the backplane surface.
The design of the I-Trac provides the foundation for its name. Clear signals between the differential pairs create the “I”. The electrically clear channels from connector to connector provides a track for fast moving signals. The I-Trac system effectively balances electrical performance, differential-pair density, mechanical robustness and cost savings to meet customer application needs. It is designed to support the telecommunications, data networking and storage markets. At 12.5 Gbps data rates, the I-Trac broadside-coupled, skew equalized design provides multiple benefits, including superior impedance control, lower cross-talk and lower insertion loss. Molex’s I-Trac contact technology allows customers to use as few as 2.75 contacts per differential channel. This reduces the number of pins required for high-speed channels, thus lowering the total cost of the connector solution.
Currently the I-Trac standard backplane system offers three options, including 7-row, 11-row and 15-row. The 7-row product is available in 4, 6 or 10 column with backplane, daughtercard, coplanar and power module options. The 11-row product is available in 5, 6, 8 or 10 column with backplane, daughtercard, coplanar and power module options. The 15-row product is available in 8, 9 or 10 column with backplane, daughtercard and power module options
The I-Trac family is available in several variations, including Standard, Orthogonal midplane, Mezzanine Stackers, and Right angle male. I-Trac is designed for both standard backplane architectures, as well as orthogonal backplane architectures, using the same connector part numbers. I-Trac is a press-fit, flexible, mono-block based system with integrated guidance. Power and signals can be stacked end-to-end to meet customer pin-count requirements.
Here we illustrate 8 different versions of GbX I-Trac Backplane headers. These different headers provide design flexibility to accommodate different design needs.
Here is the nomenclature of I-Trac products to help you identify the product from the molex part number. In the example: 76020-ABCD = 7 row A: Module type; B: Guided key position; CD: Module size In the example 76015-ABCD = 7 row A: Module type; B: Module size; C: Unguided Wall Options or Guided Key Position; D: Mating pin length
The I-Trac connector system offers many options for PCB routing. Because the wafer pitch is 3.7mm, multi-track routing between the press-fit pins is possible. Any pin can be assigned to conduct a signal or return currents. many signal and ground patterns are possible. I-Trac offers opportunities for very high speed signal transmission and for high density signal transmission. This makes I-Trac a good candidate for systems with high to very high speed, differential signaling with the inclusion of slower speed signals. Antipad size and crosstalk are important factors to consider when developing a PCB design to interface with I-Trac. Smaller antipads allow for higher density routing, however they also lead to excess capacitance and limit the bandwidth available by making the system resonant at a lower frequency. Larger antipads offer more bandwidth, but limit the size of the routing channel. A similar trade off occurs with crosstalk. Lower density escapes often see less crosstalk because there is more space between conductors and there are often additional returns between the signal conductors as well. Both of these help limit crosstalk and signal density. Because digital systems have a variety of requirements, both high density and high speed escapes are offered.
System design engineers can use the Molex I-Trac Reference Backplane to quickly and accurately evaluate the silicon signal recovery, various real world channel lengths, and PCB channel designs. The evaluation signal recovery includes verified error free, 10G BASE-KR 10.3 Gbps, and channel performance. The reference backplane contains various real-world channel lengths from 8'' up to 1m. The backplane is available in two versions: Isola FR408 material and Nelco 4000-12.
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