Connectors manufacturers target car infotainment devices
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  • Suppliers are broadening their selections of USB and HDMI connectors, which suit in-vehicle electronics.

    China makers of connectors will build up their selections for automotive infotainment products to extend reach to this market dominated by international players. A number of them aim to raise the type’s share to 20 percent from 15 percent of output in the next one or two years.

    Suppliers such as Luxshare-ITC Inc. plan to boost manufacturing capacity in coming months. The company targets a 10 to 20 percent increase while elevating sales further. In 1H13, its total revenue climbed 41 percent over the same period in the previous year to $290 million. The maker invested $22.4 million in this line, forming a partnership with Japan’s Sumitomo in 2012 and acquiring Suk of Germany the following year.

    The key applications driving demand are 2D and 3D navigation devices, A/V players, rear view cameras, and lane departure warning and onboard diagnostics systems. Car-use connectors have higher performance requirements. These should have enhanced anti-EMI features, vibration and moisture resistance, and mechanical strength. USB connectors for this application must last between 5,000 and 20,000 cycles to match vehicle design life span.

    Foreign companies dominate the field at present. Molex has released the HSAutoLink II model, which supports USB 2.0 and 3.0, LVDS, Ethernet AVB, HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort interfaces. The unit has up to 2Gbps capability, 0.5N insertion force per circuit and 5,000 cycles. An IP69K-rated version is available. Tyco’s Micro Quadlock System is compatible with USB types A and B and Mini-USB.

    In China, the range consists mainly of USB 2.0 and 3.0 units in male and female configurations. Products based on the former specification lead output, with a share surpassing 80 percent of total output for car-infotainment connectors. There are also HDMI 1.4 type E male and female variants, and DisplayPort kinds. All are RoHS-compliant.

    Dongguan Taiyu Electronic Co. Ltd’s USB-101A model has 5 to 35N insertion force and a life span exceeding 5,000 cycles. The 50VDC unit has less than 0.05ohm contact and more than 100Mohm insulation resistance, and 500VAC/min withstand voltage.

    Local releases have brass contacts with gold and tin plating respectively on the contact and terminal areas. These have tin-coated copper alloy shells, and PBT or glass fiber-reinforced housings.

    Makers are confident prices will remain flat this year because of the stable cost of domestic and imported raw materials

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