Data transfer in docking connectors

Camarillo, March 28, 2021

High speed interfaces and data protocols are creating an inflection point in test systems. Technologies are merging rapidly and future systems are more dependent on the operability of the interconnects that support data transfer as a backbone for product compliance. Advanced connectivity raises the bar on network flexibility, making it possible to configure and re-configure test platforms to fit different types of performance and availability requirements.

End-of-line (EoL) testers are responsible for testing the overall functionality of the product during the manufacturing process. Within the manufacturing environment, test systems must simulate certain operational conditions, while also measuring and validating the equipment being tested. The EoL electromechanical design becomes even more critical when high speed transfer is being tested on updated hardware.

In the 8 Key factors for Automated EOL (End of Line) Testing Interconnects and Docking, the following 8 criteria were submitted for consideration.

  1. Product Upgradability and Flexibility
  2. Repeatability & Cycle time
  3. Durability
  4. Accuracy
  5. Assembly and Reparability
  6. Production Planning and Emergency Management
  7. Support & Configuration
  8. Other Mechanical Considerations

In our product the first point, Product Upgradability and Flexibility, the need for high speed data protocols were addressed. At minimum a testing system should be able to incorporate the following data protocols from the following standards: USB®1 (USB®1 IF), HDMI®1 (EIA/CEA-861) DisplayPort (VESA), Ethernet (ANSI/EIA/TIA-568). While test product is not itself certified with logo, it must be able to adhere to the stringent requirements of the standards groups.

There are 3 methodologies on how a testing interconnect can achieve this throughput

The first approach adapts commercially available interfaces

An adapted design must be integrated using a systems approach that has been validated for the 8 criteria above. This is perfectly acceptable in some instances where performance expectations are lower and ease of use is considered a priority.

Mating cycles: min. 5,000
TIAA/TIAB/Profinet®1/CAT 5 /CAT 6A
8 contacts


  • Data transmission
  • This module is suitable for transmitting data according to CAT 6A TIA / EIA-568-B.2-10 ISO/IEC 11801:2007. Suitable for the transmission of 10 Gbit/s according to IEEE 802.3.
  • 8-way RJ45 field connector and RJ45 connector insert CAT 6A (assembly w/o special tools) for stranded and solid wire cables
  • Improved vibration and shock resistance by, for example, using 4 springs at the shrouds in the RJ45 socket of the RJ45 module
  • CAT 6A and RJ45 coupling CAT 6A
  • Multi-port capable

The second approach is creating an interface that utilizes specific architecture to achieve the high speed data protocols without a standard interface.

There are several advantages to this approach. The first being that even standard interfaces and standard cable that may be certified fall out of compliance during production. However, a customized interface allows for more manufacturing control over the end product. Additionally, every interface is adaptable and verified for each protocol. And finally, the interface can also be optimized to meet the mechanical demands of production testing such as durability. The termination and assembly also fully utilize the cable shielding. This is atypically referred to as shielded implementation.

Mating cycles: min. 10,000
CAT 5, USB® 2.01
2 - 14 contacts


  • The inserts listed here for shielded feedthroughs/high-speed connectors are ideal for all common bus systems with transfer rates up to 10.0 MHz, e.g., Profibus®1, RS485, FlexRay®1, CAN-Bus1, and RS232.
  • Selected inserts are suitable and qualified for data rates up to 1 Gbit/s, e.g., Gigabit-Ethernet1, Fast-Ethernet, IEEE 1394, USB® 2.01, FireWire® S4001 (on request).

The third approach is adapting a standard test interface using specific pin out arrangement to achieve the protocol parameters

The disadvantage is there is increased complexity for wire and cable termination. However, the advantage is the system is allowed to take full advantage of test module capabilities such as space savings and durability up to 100,000 mating cycles.


In series production, reliable testing is crucial for test organizations to ensure that certified product also is manufactured as compliant product. Successful compliance testing provides ensures interoperability when connected to a real device in the real world. Your customers need to be assured that the products you deliver will work in their OEM environments. By testing with product capable of achieving these data rates you can deliver product that is validated to conform to industry standards. Your customers must have the confidence that your products conform to applicable standards and will work effectively in their designs.

1These ODU specific connectors can transmit common data transmission protocols such as USB®, HDMI®, Profinet®, Profibus®, FlexRay® and FireWire® but they are not USB®, HDMI®, Profinet®, Profibus®, FlexRay® and FireWire®-standard connectors.