Molex Releases Miniaturization Report, Highlighting Expert Insights and Innovations in Product Design Engineering and Leading-Edge Connectivity

Miniaturization impacts every industry from automotive and consumer products to data center and medical devices as more functionality is squeezed into smaller spaces

by gabi

Molex, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, has released a new report on miniaturization in product design that highlights the cross-disciplinary engineering design and manufacturing expertise required to integrate an onslaught of increasingly sophisticated features and functionality into constantly shrinking device footprints. The report, “Mastering Miniaturization, Expert Perspectives,” offers insights on how to navigate top trade-offs when meeting the cost and space requirements of densely packaged electronics amid the increasing demand for lighter, smaller products.

“Design engineers must ‘think big to go small,’ especially when applying high-speed connectors onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) reliably,” said Brian Hauge, SVP and president, Consumer & Commercial Solutions, Molex. “Cross-functional expertise in electrical, mechanical and manufacturing process engineering is needed to deliver microelectronic interconnects that operate at higher speeds without sacrificing long term reliability, while still remaining commercially viable. Molex’s industry leading miniaturization capabilities are backed by a legacy of delivering the smallest, densest and most advanced connectivity solutions available today.”

As miniaturization continues to permeate every industry and application category, product designers must balance competing factors, including:

  • Power and thermal management
  • Signal integrity and integration
  • Component and system integration
  • Mechanical stress and manufacturability
  • Precision, volume manufacturing and costs

The report addresses miniaturization trends in consumer devices and medical wearables, as well as demand for smaller, lighter electronics and connectors in automotive, data center and industrial applications. Observations from experts across different sectors also shed light on how miniaturization is impacting factories, data centers, automobiles, medical wearables, smartphones, the evolution of 5G, and more.

Miniaturization Redefines Innovation

Examples of new and game-changing Molex solutions help underscore the various ways that miniaturization is redefining innovation by reducing size, weight and placement of components and connectors, including:

  • Quad-Row Board-to-Board Connectors. The world’s smallest board-to-board connectors have staggered-circuit layout for 30% space savings to support smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, game consoles and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) devices.
  • Next-Generation Vehicle Architectures. Molex is driving development of zonal architectures, which replace traditional wiring harnesses with zonal gateways that group vehicle functions by location using fewer, smaller, more powerful and ruggedized connectors.
  • Flex-to-Board RF mmWave 5G25 Connectors. Micro-connectors combine compact size and superior signal integrity to deliver step-changes in performance to meet demanding 5G mmWave applications up to 25 GHz.
  • NearStack On-the-Substrate (OTS). Direct-to-chip solution places NearStack connectors directly on the chip substrate package, enabling high-density interconnects supporting 112 Gbps transmission over longer distances.

Molex Market Insights

  • Kyle Glissman, global product manager, Molex Transportation Division: “The ability to move toward 0.5-millimeter terminals has a compounding effect as there’s much better density to fit more content and capabilities in a smaller space.”
  • Kenji Kijima, director of mobile solutions, Molex Consumer & Commercial Solutions: “With 5G, you need more antenna modules and RF functionality inside the phone, as well as bigger batteries for greater power, which creates pressure to shrink other components.”
  • Brett Landrum, VP, Global Innovation & Design, Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company: “Miniaturization is driving usability while taking human-connected design to the next level.”
  • Gus Panella, director of interconnect technology, Molex Data Specialty Solutions: “Applications are driving I/O density, which is stretching limits of the material physics for the PCB, which has led to moving connectors onto the silicon substrate.”


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