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High performance polyamide beats LCP and PPA for DDR4 memory connector housings

DSM Engineering Plastics (Sittard) : 29 August, 2013  (Application Story)
The Taiwanese memory connector manufacturer Lotes has selected DSM's Stanyl ForTii H11 polyamide 4T for housings for a new range of DDR4 connectors. T/H type and also SMT, Single-latch, VLP, ULP and Press-fit types will meet OEM design needs in servers, desktops, complex base station and voice gateways. The housings are suitable for wave and infrared reflow soldering, and are available in various colours.
Market penetration of DDR4, a new form of computer memory that debuted last year, is accelerating: now that JEDEC (the Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council) has signed off on a final DDR4 standard, and Intel has embedded DDR4 support in its latest Haswell-based server CPUs, major OEMs are preparing for a move from DDR3 (the current memory generation) to DDR4 by the first quarter of next year. DDR4 memories will first appear in servers, where OEMs are aggressively looking to lower power consumption while boosting performance.
DDR4 will provide computers with significantly improved power management and increased speed and performance. While DDR3 consumes 1.5V, DDR4 runs on 1.2V, providing a 20% reduction in power consumption. With its Deep Power Down option combined with single memory chip refresh, rather than the entire module refresh in DDR3, DDR4 will also enable a 40-50% reduction in standby power. This significant power reduction will reduce heat in every device that has access to the memory.
At the same time, DDR4 is far faster than anything that came before it. With 3.2 billion transfers per second, data transfer rates are double those of top-end DDR3 memory buses. 
For its new range of DDR4 connectors, Lotes chose Stanyl ForTii ahead of liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) and polyphthalamides (PPAs), which it also tested for the application. The long form factor of the connectors, and the multi-cavity design of the injection mould Lotes wanted to use, demanded a high flowing material. No halogen-free PPA can match the flow levels of Stanyl ForTii.
To achieve good co-planarity of the connector on the FR4 printed circuit board (PCB), there also had to be a close match in CLTE (coefficient of linear thermal expansion) between the FR4 and the connector housing material; Stanyl ForTii provides this. In addition, it has a unique combination of high stiffness and high deflection temperature under load (HDT). As a result, warpage of Stanyl ForTii connectors after reflow soldering to PCBs is better than any LCP or PPA. 
Finally, the pin spacing of 0.85mm in DDR4 connectors — which is 0.15mm less than in DDR3 connectors — poses a real challenge in terms of pin retention forces. Connectors in Stanyl ForTii outperform all LCPs or LCP/PPS blends in pin retention force, maintaining the required level of at least 0.3 kgf after board assembly with reflow soldering.
Bill Lee, director of Product Design at Lotes, says: “Among the outstanding properties of Stanyl ForTii that we value are its very low warpage after the reflow process, its outstanding toughness and stiffness, excellent pin retention forces and the freedom it gives us to make components in different colours. Stanyl ForTii H11 is also our material of choice for other SMT connectors, PCI or USB.”
DSM is seeing strong and growing demand for Stanyl ForTii from the electronics market, which is one reason why DSM recently inaugurated an additional capacity expansion so soon after an earlier quadrupling of capacity. Stanyl ForTiii is highly flame retardant while being entirely free of halogens and red phosphorous.
With Stanyl ForTii’s UL 94 V-0 rating down to 0.2mm, DSM can extend coverage of Stanyl into the most demanding reflow soldering applications. Stanyl ForTii is the only halogen free, high temperature polyamide that meets the stringent requirements of reflow soldering and high flow.
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