Molex has acquired core technology and intellectual property (IP) from Keyssa Inc., a pioneer in high-speed contactless connectors. The acquisition of this unique wireless chip-to-chip technology, including over 350 filed patent applications, will accelerate Molex’s strategy to further expand and diversify its micro connector portfolio with highly flexible, cable-free connectors for near-field, device-to-device applications.
“Keyssa’s wireless chip-to-chip technology complements Molex’s developments in mmWave antenna connectivity to meet the growing demands for high data rate transmissions,” said Justin Kerr, vice president and general manager, Micro Solutions Business Unit, Molex. “We constantly push the technology envelope for our mobile and consumer device customers, offering greater product design freedom while supporting next-generation wireless connectivity needs.”
Streamlining device-to-device communications
As mobile and consumer products become smaller, thinner and sleeker, there is a growing need to streamline device-to-device communications. Equally important is simplifying communications within the mobile device, such as enabling increasing data transmission from the display, camera and other key modules. In addition to eliminating the need for physical cables or connectors, the acquired technology also alleviates concerns over pairing and reliability. Design for manufacturability is also enhanced with fully encased, dust- and water-proof packaging with wide alignment tolerances.
The acquired technology operates at data rates up to 6 Gbps on the 60 GHz band with no WiFi or Bluetooth interference. The tiny, low-power, low-latency, solid-state contactless connectors can solve critical data transmission needs with minimal overhead. Molex plans to advance these current capabilities by supporting exponentially higher data rates and full-duplex communications. Additionally, Molex will leverage its longstanding signal integrity expertise and mmWave antenna capabilities to speed the commercialization of new contactless connectors while complementing its existing portfolio of products.
Molex also will take advantage of the Virtual Pipe I/O (VPIO) technology Keyssa developed to resolve protocol inefficiencies. By aggregating low- and high-speed protocols for simultaneous transmission over one or more links, VPIO can help compensate for real-time events that impact link performance integrity. Used in combination, VPIO and contactless connectors can create extensible and efficient I/O that is free from the limitations of mechanical connectors while being capable of adapting and scaling as dictated by application demands.
Strategic investments drive market momentum
Molex is ramping a team of more than 25 engineers in the U.S. and India to develop next-generation products based on this technology. Initially, the focus will be on the unique connectivity needs of high-volume mobile applications where contactless connectors offer potential benefits in design for manufacturing, serviceability, reliability, signal aggregation and security. Over time, Molex will apply this technology to address emerging application areas, encompassing smart factories, automotive advanced safety, medical robotics and more.
“Molex has a longstanding commitment to invest in world-class solutions that not only solve current problems for leading mobile and consumer device manufacturers, but also anticipate their future challenges,” said Eric VanAlstyne, director, Corporate Development, Molex. “The decision to acquire Keyssa’s technology and IP strengthens our position as a supplier of choice with innovations in both mechanical and contactless connectivity.”
Molex consumer and commercial solutions
The Molex legacy of delivering critical connections extends across the entire mobile device ecosystem with proven expertise in 5G, mmWave, RF, signal integrity, antenna, power, camera and display technologies. Precision, volume manufacturing and miniaturization enable Molex to meet dynamic market demands while providing leading mobile device manufacturers and their suppliers with the smallest, densest and most advanced connectors currently available.