TE Connectivity has announced its new Mini-ETH single pair ethernet system for commercial aircraft that offers substantial weight savings, more bandwidth and simpler installation and maintenance by using proven technologies from other markets. As designers search for greater efficiency onboard aircraft, TE’s new Mini-ETH system offers them up to 73% weight savings in cables and up to 41% weight savings in connectors compared to standard eight-wire cables and rectangular connectors.
Using ethernet over single pair protocols derived from the automotive market, the Mini-ETH system delivers its weight savings by employing a two-wire cable design, which was recently standardized under the ARINC 854 cabin equipment network bus standard. Two-wire cables and corresponding 369 connectors help reduce termination time by up to 50% compared to standard quadrax connectors. The reduction in wires within TE’s Mini-ETH system can also simplify maintenance when compared to quadrax connectors.
These efficiencies come in a versatile package that is qualified to 100Mb/s with the ability to support up to 1Gb/s in future applications. The Mini-ETH system is currently designed for use in In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems, seat power and lighting controls.