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Smart Card Connectors

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About Smart Card Connectors

GCT offer a range of Smart Card connectors with 8 contacts in horizontal, push-pull, printed circuit board mount type. These connectors suit a wide variety of applications including point of sale (POS), pay TV, set top box, transportation and identification.

Connectors are available with shielding options in surface mount and through hole PCB termination and mate with ISO/IEC 7810 smart cards.

Standard mount configuration

The range comes in standard mount configuration and accepts the card with the contacts facing down, as opposed to reverse mount which accepts the card with contacts facing up.

Card Detection

Card detection is achieved with either a sealed switch or blade switch. In the case of the sealed switch, the contacts are 'sealed' within its own plastic housing and as such not exposed to the outside world. The 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 construction, normally sealed switch connectors offer 500,000 cycles with blade switch connectors offering 100,000 cycles.

Switch position is normally open or normally closed, drawings show the operation diagram. Normally open is standard, when the card is inserted the switch is closed which allows electronic detection of the card.

Card insertion and extraction

Push-Pull is the most common manual card holding method, the card is inserted manually and held in position by a card break, while active. After the transaction is complete the card is simply pulled out of the connector.

Contact types and number of card insertion cycles

Landed Contacts
With this contact method, a moveable contact set connects with the pads of the ISO/IEC 7810 card upon insertion. The card's surface is not scratched and this allows connectors to reach a higher number of cycles, typically 500,000 card insertions. Smart Card Landed Contact

Friction Contacts
The 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. Smart Card Friction Contact

Friction contacts are sometimes known as wiping contacts and are a more economical choice than landed contacts. Generally friction contacts offer a relatively low number of cycles (100,000), however GCT offer a friction product which is tested at and rated to 500,000 cycles.