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Self-Sensing Connector Design

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199689D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-14
Document File: 4 page(s) / 63K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a connector designed to automatically retract upon overheating.

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Blade server products can house up to 14 blades or mother boards per chassis which are plugged into a single backplane or midplane. Power is supplied to the back plane and is distributed to the blades via power connectors. The power connectors on the back plane and blades are mounted onto the respective boards by compliant pins which are press-fit into the copper-plated-through-holes of the boards. The leads of the power connectors on the blades can also be soldered into plated-through-holes.

    There have been field returns of blades and back planes which have burned at the power connection location where the damage is so extensive that root cause diagnosis is extremely difficult. There is over current protection within the power supplies such that a short circuit condition would shut off the power to the boards. However, in a situation where the compliant pin connections may have buckled upon insertion, the low contact force within the copper plated-through-holes could result in high contact resistance. High contact resistance in a power connection can generate excessive heat, break down the adjacent laminate material which can create alternate conductive paths between planes or features, and consequently melt the contacts and copper planes within the board. Board defects between power and ground structures can also generate an over current situation.

    Currently, the only other known means of detecting high contact resistance or high heat in power connections is a method which relies on a heat flux sensor coupled to a service processor and sensor controller. It would be advantageous to have the contact self-sensing, i.e., detect the elevated temperature due to a high current density or high contact resistance situations and break contact. Consequently, there is a need for the ability to detect high contact resistance in p...