Invented by Alan Weir Bucher, TE Connectivity Solutions GmbH
The TE Connectivity Solutions GmbH invention works as followsPlug assembly comprising a pluggable connecter having a mating and a leading end, and a central line extending between them. The pluggable plug has internal electronics which generate thermal energy. The mating end has been designed to engage with a data connector. The pluggable plug connector includes a thermal contact region. The thermal interface region comprises a series transfer plates extending parallel to one another and the central axis. The transfer plates are a series plate-receiving slot that extends parallel to the central direction. The thermal interface area transfers the thermal energy produced by the internal electronic through the transfer plate.
Background for Plug-and-receptacle Assembly with a Thermally Conductive Interface
The subject matter of this invention relates to a plug-and-receptacle set with a thermally conducting interface that transfers heat from the plug into an external environment.
Plug assemblies can be used to transmit information to and from various communication systems or devices. Plug assemblies are typically made up of two or more connectors interconnected by one or more cables. Data can be transmitted via the communication cable in optical and/or electric signals. Each pluggable cable connector has a mating-end that is inserted in a receptacle and a trailing-end that is connected to the communication cable. The mating end of the pluggable connector may include a circuit with electrical contacts such as contact pads. The mating end of the pluggable connector is inserted in the cavity of the receptacle and moved forward until it engages the other connector within the cavity. The electrical contacts on the mating end are matched with the electrical contacts of another connector in the cavity.
Managing heat generated by communication systems can be a challenge. The pluggable connector in the plug assembly described previously contains internal electronics which generate heat when the plug assembly is operated. The pluggable plug includes a heatblock that transfers heat generated by the internal electronics to the exterior of the connector. When the pluggable is inserted in the receptacle, the heatblock engages with another heatblock of the receptacle. Heat generated in the pluggable assembly can be transferred into the receptacle and dissipated from there.
The heat block of the pluggable connecter and the receptacle assemblies generally have planar surfaces which are intimately engaged along a contact region. The planar surface may be smoothed or finished to increase contact area. A normal force can also be applied to push the planar surfaces of two heat blocks into each other. It is desirable that the planar surfaces engage in a close engagement, but it is also important to insert and remove the pluggable connector from the receptacle multiple times. The friction between the planar surface may damage the pluggable assembly or connector. “Even with smooth planar surface and a force that presses them into each other, heat transfer between planar surfaces can be inadequate for certain applications.
Accordingly, there’s a need for an electrical plug and socket assembly with a thermally-conductive interface that provides desired heat transfer while minimising wear and damage to the components.
In one embodiment, there is a plug assembly that includes a connector with a mating and trailing end as well as a central axis between them. The pluggable plug contains internal electronics which generate thermal energy. The mating end has been designed to engage with a data connector. The pluggable plug connector includes a thermal contact region. The thermal interface region includes transfer plates that are parallel to one another and to the central direction. The transfer plates are a series plate-receiving slot that extends parallel to the central direction. The thermal interface area transfers the thermal energy produced by the internal electronic through the transfer plate.
In some embodiments, transfer plates may have leading and exterior edges. The leading edges can face in a central axis direction, while the exterior edges can extend parallel to that central axis. “At least one of exterior edges or leading edges can be chamfered to engage transfer plate of the receptacle.
In one embodiment, a connector and plug assembly includes a pluggable plug that extends between a mating and trailing end. The plug assembly has a thermal interface coupled to the connector. The thermal interface region consists of a series spaced-apart transfer plates that are parallel to one another. The plug and socket assembly includes a receptacle with an assembly housing that has a communication slot and a housing chamber accessed via the communication port. The receptacle includes a data connecter disposed in the housing cavity, and a heatsink coupled to the assembly housing. The heat sink is made up of a series spaced-apart transfer plates that run parallel to one another. The heat sink’s transfer plates define a number of slots for receiving the plate. The heat sink’s plate-receiving slot receives the transfer plates from the thermal interface area. The thermal interface transfer plate transfers thermal energy from the pluggable connector onto the heat sink’s transfer plates.
In one embodiment, the receptacle includes an assembly housing with a communication slot and a housing chamber that can be accessed via the communication port. The receptacle includes a data connecter that is located within the housing cavity. It is positioned so as to engage with a pluggable plug when the pluggable plug is inserted into the communication port on a mating direction. The receptacle housing is also coupled with a heat sink. The heat sink has a series transfer plates that are parallel to one another and the mating axis. The transfer plates define an array of slot-receiving plate that are parallel to the mating plane. The heat sink is designed to transfer thermal energy to an external space from the pluggable connecter through the transfer plate.
In some embodiments the transfer plates can have port edges facing the communication port, and cavity edges extending parallel to the mating plane. One or more of the port edges, or cavity edges, may be chamfered to engage the pluggable connection.
FIG. The perspective view 1 shows a plug-and-receptacle 100 according to an embodiment, which includes a connector assembly 102 and the receptacle 104. The plug-and-receptacle 100 assembly may also be called a communication system, or an assembly. The receptacle 104 assembly is mounted on a circuit board. Circuit board 106 can be a daughter board or mother board, for instance. In the illustrated embodiment the plug assembly includes a pluggable 108 connector that is an I/O module capable of engaging repeatedly the receptacle 104. In FIG. In FIG. The elevation axis appears parallel to gravity force in FIG. Although FIG. 1 shows gravity pulling the receptacle 104 towards the circuit board 106 with the plug and socket assembly 100, it’s understood that other spatial orientations may exist. “For example, the lateral-axis 192 could extend parallel to gravity.
The plug assembly includes a cable of communication 110 which is attached to the trailing end 114 on the pluggable connector. The plug assembly 102 can include another connector 108 on the opposite end of communication cable 110, even though it is not shown. The pluggable connector has a mating or facing end 112 opposite the trailing ends 114. Between the mating end and the trailing edge 114, a central axis is located. The plug assembly (or pluggable connector 108), also includes a region of thermal interface 120. In some embodiments, this area may be described as a heatsink. The receptacle 104 includes an assembly housing and a heatsink 118. The heat sink 118, and thermal interface region 120 can be configured to interface together to transfer thermal energy (shown in FIG. “The pluggable connector is 108.
In some embodiments, an assembly housing 116 can be formed as a receptacle from sheet metal that has been stamped. The assembly housing defines a communication 115 that allows access to the housing cavity 115. Both the communication port 105 as well as the housing cavity are designed to accept a portion the pluggable connector. The mating end 112 is designed to be inserted into the housing cavity from the communication port 105. To insert the mating ends 112 into housing cavity, the pluggable 108 must be aligned in relation to the communication ports 105 and 115. The connector is then advanced through the communication ports 105 along a mating axis 191. The mating direction is parallel to the mating plane 191. The mating end is advanced towards a data connector (shown in FIG. The housing cavity 115 contains a third connector (Figure 3). The pluggable connector and the data connector may form a pluggable connection. When the pluggable 108 and data connector 122 form a pluggable engagement, the heat sink 120 and thermal interface region 118 interface with one another to transfer thermal energy 150. The pluggable connector is 108 when the data connector 122 is operably engaged. When this happens, the heat sink 118 and thermal interface region 120 will interface with each other to transfer thermal energy 150 (FIG.
The communication cable is configured to transmit data through it.” In one embodiment, the communication cables 110 include optical fibers which are designed to transmit data in the form optical signals. The optical fibers can be connected to the internal electronics 124, as shown in FIG. 2. This could be a signal convertor or an optical engine. In some embodiments, communication cable 110 may include insulated wires with jackets surrounding wire conductors. Wire conductors can be designed to transmit electrical signals or electrical power. The internal electronics 124 in such embodiments may be integrated circuits configured to, for instance, amplify input electrical signals coming from the communication cable and/or output signals coming from the receptacle assemblies 104.
In certain embodiments, plug and receptacle assemblies 100 are high-speed pluggable input/output interconnect assemblies. The plug and connector assembly 100, plug assembly 102 and/or pluggable connectors 108 can be configured to suit various applications. Examples of non-limiting applications are storage networking, cluster computing and high performance computing. The plug and connector assembly 100, plug assembly 102 and/or pluggable connector can be used in conjunction with switches, hubs and storage systems. They may also be used to connect network interface cards, servers, switches and host bus adapters. The pluggable connector 108, and/or receptacle 104, may, for example, be part of a QSFP+ interconnect system from TE Connectivity. The plug and socket assembly 100 can achieve high data rates such as those exceeding 20 gigabits/second (Gb). The plug-and-receptacle 100 can also be configured to meet various industry standards such as Ethernet Fibre Channel and InfiniBand.
The pluggable 108 connector has a housing 126 which forms a cavity 138 for the connector (shown in FIG. The internal electronics 124 is located in the connector cavity 138 (shown in FIG. The connector cavity may be opened to the mating side 112. The connector housing has a plug 128 which is sized and formed to fit into the housing cavities 115 of the receptacle assemblies 104, and a body 130 which is not inserted in the housing cavities 115. The mating end 112 is part of the plug portion 128. The body portion 130 can be designed to be held by an individual, and includes the trailing ends 114.
The pluggable connector (108 in the illustration) includes a circuit 132 with a board edge 134 and electrical contacts 136. The circuit board is located within the connector cavity (FIG. 2). The electrical contacts 136 engage the corresponding electrical contacts (182 shown in FIG. The electrical contacts 136 are configured to engage corresponding electrical contacts 182 (shown in FIG. In the receptacle 104, FIG. In certain embodiments, electrical contacts 136 may be contact pads on the circuit board 132. The electrical contacts 136 can also be different types of electrical contact, such as beams.
The connector housing 126 has plug sides 141, 142, 143, 144 which extend parallel to the central direction 194 between the trailing and mating ends 112,114. The plug sides 141 and 143 are in opposing directions along the lateral plane 192, and extend longitudinally between the body part 130 and the mating side 112. The plug sides 142 and 144 face opposite directions along elevation axis 192 and extend longitudinally between the body part 130 and mating end 112 along mating axis 19. The plug sides extend laterally between plug sides 141 and 143. In the embodiment illustrated, the thermal interface 120 defines a part of the plug side. In other embodiments the thermal interface 120 can define a part of the plug sides 141, 142 or 143. In some embodiments, the thermal interface region may be present on more than one plug side 141-144. “For example, the thermal interface region may be separate on each plug side 144 or 142.
The pluggable connector (108) may also include shield tabs, or fingers (not shown), that surround the plug portion 128 on the connector housing 126. The shield tabs can electrically couple connector housing 126 and assembly housing 116. The pluggable 108 can also include a latching system (not shown), which is designed to connect to the assembly housing when the pluggable 108 and receptacle 104 are engaged. The latching system may prevent accidental withdrawal of the pluggable assembly 104.
FIG. The cross-sectional view of the pluggable 108 connector is shown in FIG. FIG. FIG. 1). In the embodiment illustrated, the pluggable 108 connector includes a circuit board 132 that is disposed in the connector cavity. The internal electronics are located in the connector cavity and are coupled to the circuitboard 132. The internal electronics 124 is mounted on a board surface (133) of the circuitboard 132. The internal electronics 124 can generate thermal energy that is then dissipated in the connector cavity (138) or other parts of the connector 108 such as the housing. Thermal energy 150 can be absorbed and transferred by the thermal interface 120 away from the connector cavities 138.
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