Global Connector Technology (GCT) has recently announced the release of 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 to achieve 500K cycles at the price point normally associated with 100K 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 seeks low cost and a lower number of card insertion cycles.
GCT's ranges offers a variety of options to suit different application requirements, including through hole or surface mount termination, 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, 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, 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 & exposed to the outside world. The construction of the sealed switch is inherently more reliable than the bladed switch, generally sealed switch connectors offer 500,000 cycles with blade switch connectors offering 100,000 cycles. Normally open and normally closed switch types are available.
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