A Roundup of Three Recent Connectors Hitting the Market

April 22, 2022 by Jake Hertz

With a market saturated with options, engineers can find a purpose-built connector for just about any project. Here are a few standouts for Ethernet, automation, and defense.

Connectors may not be the most exciting electronic component, but they are undoubtedly one of the most important. In many cases, connectors represent a common point of failure in electronic systems and can often be the limiting factor for reliability. For this reason, proper connector selection and layout is an integral part of PCB and system design for electrical engineers.

As a testament to this, this month alone has seen a number of new connector products reach the market. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at new connector offerings from CUI Devices, Heilind Electronics, and Cinch Connectivity Solutions.


CUI Devices' Circular Connectors

The first connector release comes from CUI Devices, which announced the addition of circular connectors to its connector portfolio earlier this month.


Members of the CDM12 family

Members of the CDM12 family. Image used courtesy of CUI Devices


The new CDM12 family was designed explicitly for Ethernet communications in industrial applications. To this end, the connectors support up to 1 Gbit of Ethernet while maintaining voltage ratings including 30 Vac, 60 Vac, and 250 Vac and current ratings including 1.5 A, 2 A, and 4 A. The family consists of a variety of male or female options including options ranging from 3 to 12 pins, and each connector in the family is A-coded, ensuring interoperability and ease of use for many applications.

Most notably, these connectors are all IP67 rated, meaning that they ensure a high level of quality and reliability in difficult environments. Specifically, the connectors are able to operate at a temperature range of -25°C to 80°C. This makes the connector a great choice for applications such as industrial or automotive solutions, where environments are harsh and reliability is paramount.


Heilind's X-Code PCB Mount Connectors

The next connector announcement is from Heilind Electronics, which is now stocking Stewart M12 X-Code PCB mount connectors.

The M12 X-Code connectors are generally used for industrial Ethernet communications and have historically found use in applications such as industrial automation and robotics. While the connectors only come in an 8-pin configuration, they are capable of data transmission at an impressive rate of 10 Gbps. Similar to CUI’s newest connector, the M12 X-Code connectors from Stewart are IP67 rated. 


Comparing M12 connector codes

Comparing M12 connector codes. Image used courtesy of Automation Insights


Unlike CUI’s A-Coded offerings, these connectors are X-Coded, which allows them to support higher Ethernet speeds. Beyond faster data rates, the X-Code connectors have the advantage of being a unique connector type, which helps prevent a mismatch with other M12 coding options. 


Cinch Connectivity's Military-focused Connectors

The final connector news comes from Cinch Connectivity, which recently expanded its MD801 series to achieve military standards.

The MD801 series was designed to be a lightweight and small form factor connector type to serve the needs of dense applications.  Now, the series has been expanded to meet military standard (MIL-SPEC) classifications with the introduction of new products including the MD801 9-19, MD801 6-7, MD801 8-13, MD801 10-26, and MD801 13-37 models. 


MD801 series connectors

MD801 series connectors. Image used courtesy of Cinch Connectivity Solutions


Designed to be extra robust and reliable, connectors in the MD801 series offer current tolerances of 5 A, dielectric withstanding voltages of 750 Vac, temperature ranges from -65°C to 175°C, and shielding effectiveness of 55 dB min from 100 MHz–1000 MHz. With these specs and new classification, Cinch expects their connectors to be used in applications such as military vehicles, satellites, and UAVs.


Finding the Right Connector

Connectors are an important aspect of electronic design and can often be the “weak link” in an electronic system. With a variety of new, highly-rated, and high-performance connectors reaching the market, engineers should have an increasingly easy time finding the right connector for their application.