To better understand the terminology of this industry, the following definitions are provided to explain some of the terms, jargon, and phrases commonly used at Greenconn and within the electrical connector industry.


Alignment Features

Connectors must first be aligned with each other in order to pair successfully. The male/female connectors can be designed with additional features on one or both sides to facilitate successful mating. These features include floating mechanisms, pegs/posts, or other guiding mechanisms that help allow for a connector to properly mate to a PCB.

Alternating Current (AC)

Refers to an electrical current that changes the directional flow of energy from time to time. AC is most often found in a sine wave.


An ampere (symbol: A) is the SI base unit of electrical current (the rate of electron flow in an electrical conductor). One ampere represents a flow of one coulomb of electrical charge moving past a certain point within one second.


Automation is a process conducted and completed solely by machinery. This does not require a person to observe or play a role during each step of production, therefore, limiting the need for manual labor.


Bill of Materials (BoM)

BoM is a document that states the information needed to manufacture a product. In order to begin production, the first step of the manufacturing process is to create this document. A BoM includes a complete list of materials needed (often including the quantity or volume/length/weight required) to produce a product as well as the processes and instructions related to the assembly of a product.

Blanked Pin

A polarization or keying feature within a connector. The blanked pin is the receptacle on a female connector that typically allows for a pin from a male connector to enter; however, instead of an open receptacle, the receptacle is solid and does not allow for the pin to enter. In order to make this interconnect, the pin from the male side of the connector must be removed. Blanked pins help to make sure the correct connectors are mated together.

Blind Mating

This process refers to the mating of two connectors that are not visibly seen. Blind mating creates a difficult challenge of making an interconnect successful. To solve this problem, additional features can be added to the connectors that allow for an easier mating process. Available features include: floating connectors, pegs and posts, etc.


Board-to-board or B2B refers to connectors that act as the mating device between two separate PCBs. These connectors are directly mounted to each PCB to make a successful interconnect.



A bundle of wires wrapped together that have the ability to conduct electrical flow between two opposing sides. These wires are covered with a housing material (or insulation) such as PVC. Additional insulation may be provided depending on the type of cable. There are numerous types of cables that work within various applications. Cables can be cut in any length to meet the needs of each application and are often stripped at the end to expose the wire within. These wires (often made of copper), once connected to two opposing sources, then have the ability to create an electrical flow between the two devices.

Cable Assembly

The attachment of a cable to one or more electrical connectors.

Cable Harness

See Cable Assembly

Cable Loom

See Cable Assembly


A type of interconnect system where one connector is attached to a cable and the other is mounted to a PCB.


A type of interconnect system where both connectors are attached to a cable.


See Computer Aided Design

CAD Models

These are the documents or virtual designs made within a CAD system. These models are formatted in 3D to fully show their design. Greenconn offers CAD models to customers when ordering through us. (See Computer Aided Design CAD for more information).


An electrical connection that provides the path for a current to be carried or transmitted. A circuit consists of a device that provides the energy to flow to another device that will then use that energy.

Computer Aided Design

Computer software often used by engineers, designers, etc. that aids in the design, modification, or creation of a design. This software allows for a product to be designed in 2D or 3D form before being put into manufacturing. CAD offers features to perform analyses and aid in track layout automation. Greenconn has its own CAD embedded into its website that allows anyone to design a totally customized product. From here, the design or drawing can be exported in various document forms in either 2D or 3D.


An electromechanical device used to join electrical conductors in order to create an electrical circuit. These connectors can be used to electrically connect or disconnect the circuit. Most electrical connectors come in pairs (male and female) that fit together perfectly. The male connector is often called a "plug" while a female connector is often called a "socket". They often consist of metal pins, that allow for the conduction of energy, and a plastic housing. Connectors can be made in thousands of configurations to meet the needs of each application.

Contact Retention Force Test

A reliability test performed for the purpose of imposing axial forces on the connector contacts to determine the ability of the connector to withstand forces that have a tendency to displace contacts from their proper location.

Continuity Test

This is a test performed on a PCB or a connection of cables/connectors with the purpose of determining whether a circuit is open or closed. If the connection passes this test with no fluctuation, the said circuit has been correctly connected.


Within electrical devices or PCBs where electricity is being passed through currents, there is a tendency for the temperature within to rise. In order to prevent this from happening, solutions must be made to cool down the device. If the device gets too hot, a fire hazard could occur. There are many elements that can be added to make sure the device does not overheat. This could be achieved using cooling fans, aluminum heat sinks, or simply providing enough physical space for the device to cool itself. The implementation of these elements will depend on the space constraints within the device.


An elemental substance found on the periodic table. Known as atomic number 29 with its symbol being "Cu". This element is a soft, malleable metal that has high electrical and thermal conduction properties. For this reason, it is often used in electrical connectors. Copper provides low-cost solutions that are highly expandable and versatile.


This process is used to attach cables or wires to a connector or contact. First, a cable is stripped of its insulation and joined with a contact to make a mechanically sound connection. Using a specific tool, a connector or contact is then partially deformed in order to be attached to the cable itself. A crimped connection will undergo testing to provide a pull-off force rating.


A phenomenon where the electrical transmission flow of one circuit affects the flow of another circuit. This issue is often caused by capacitive, inductive, or conductive coupling from one circuit to another. There are ways to avoid this problem, such as exploiting the parallelism that often leads to crosstalk or providing a larger amount of distance between the circuits.


The rate at which electrons steadily flow through a point of an electrical circuit. The electrons carry electrical charge as they move through the current. Current is typically measured in ampere (A).

Current Rating

The highest or maximum amount of electrical current that a fuse is able to carry for a certain period of time before the fuse element deteriorates to the point of altered performance. This rating is often used to determine the voltage at which an electrical appliance is able to operate.



A document that provides technical information pertaining to a product. This document might contain varying information of which could include product specifications, materials used, product design, usage information, etc. Each manufacturer’s datasheet could be provided with different information or in different formats. Greenconn’s datasheet includes the following: product description, specifications, materials used, a drawing of the product design. Different datasheets are provided for each product.


See Direct Current

Dielectric Withstanding Voltage Test

In order to evaluate the safety of a component and its insulation, a Dielectric Withstanding Voltage Test will be performed. The main purpose of this test is to determine the effectiveness of its insulation. During this test, an extremely-high voltage will be given out for a certain period of time. If the insulation can handle the voltage and is not damaged, it passes the test. If the amount of high voltage causes the insulation to break or be damaged in any way, it fails the test. Here we can determine the resistance of the insulation to leakage of electrical current.

Direct Current (DC)

A current in which electrical charge (or electrons) flows in only one direction.


A section or entire connection that is broken, whether temporary or permanent, and does not allow for the flow of electrons.


A device or connector's ability to withstand wear, strain, pressure, or damage while performing consistently well over a certain amount of time. This word is often used to describe connectors that perform well under pressure (whether it be environmental or time factors).


Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Refers to a device that is applicable to its electromagnetic environment and does not transmit electromagnetic signals that cause electromagnetic interference to be captured or affected by other devices. The idea of EMC is to have the ability to operate various types of equipment in a common space without causing interference. EMC can be ensured using various different methods. For example: Board Level Shielding or the total enclosure of a device in a metal shell.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

Often referred to in relation to Radio-Frequency Interference (RFI), is when an electrical frequency creates a disturbance by an external source that could potentially affect the electrical circuit. This interference could cause the functions of a device to slow down or stop working entirely. This issue can occur not only in radio frequency but also in any electrical or magnetic field disturbed by an external source. These interferences can be caused by natural or man-made external sources. In order to prevent this issue, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) must be ensured.

Electronic Connector

An electromechanical device used to join electrical conductors in order to create an electrical circuit. These connectors can be used to electrically connect or disconnect the circuit. Most electrical connectors come in pairs (male and female) that fit together perfectly. The male connector is often called a “plug” while a female connector is often called a “socket.” They often consist of metal pins, that allow for the conduction of energy, and a plastic housing. Connectors can be made in thousands of configurations to meet the needs of each application.


A type of physics technology that requires the flow of electrons through a circuit in order to function. These devices use transistors, microchips, and other components to allow for this flow. Electronics range anywhere from robotic arms and industrial equipment to automotive devices and household appliances.


A subatomic particle that is negatively charged. It is found around the nucleus of all atoms and, through its movements, acts as the main carrier of electricity in solid components.

End-Of-Life (EOL)

A phase in which a product has been discontinued, will soon be obsolete and is being sold as a Last-Buy option, or is planned to be discontinued by a manufacturer. Often referred to as EOL.


See End-Of-Life

Evaluation Samples

These are samples given by Greenconn to potential customers that allow them to inspect and evaluate whether the products offered will appropriately fit and function within the application requiring said products. Be aware that these products may not be exactly the same as how they would appear compared to being produced at full-scale. For this reason, during the full-scale manufacturing of an application, evaluation samples should not be used. Greenconn offers evaluation samples for a wide variety of connectors.

Examination of Product

The process in which a person checks the physical and electrical integrity of a product. Many variations of the examination process are required by different companies. The purpose could be to check a product's quality, dimensions, safety, or compliance.


Half Pitch

1.27mm (0.05”) pitch. This pitch length gets the name “Half Pitch” because it is half the length of the most common pitch found within connectors.

The most common is 2.54mm (0.1”) pitch.


An assertion that a material does not include any Halogen elements which include: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, or astat. These Halogen elements may put off a gas toxic to humans or cause metal to corrode. Greenconn offers many products that are certified as “Halogen-free.”

High Speed Connector

Connectors that are designed to carry information at an incredibly rapid rate. These connectors can often relay information at the rate of multiple gigahertz (GH).

High-Reliability Connector

Connectors that are designed to withstand the pressure of usage over an extended period of time and/or harsh environmental conditions that include: shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, etc. while still maintaining a high level of performance.

High-temperature Operating Life (HTOL)

HTOL is a reliability test that is performed on integrated circuits to examine the reliability of a device during operation under high temperature conditions and over a predetermined period of time. This test puts stress on the IC at an elevated temperature, in order to see how it will perform under extreme conditions.

Holding Force

The exceeded strength required to disconnect two mated connectors or contacts. Holding force only accounts for the force needed to separate the actual contacts from their sockets and does not include any external measures that are used to strengthen the connection (for example, mechanical fixtures). Holding force is measured as the maximum force a connector or contact can withstand without being separated and uses newtons (N) to express this force. Often used interchangeably with Withdrawal Force.


A certain connector orientation. A connector’s orientation refers to the orientation in which a connector is mounted to a PCB. This particular orientation (also referred to as “planar” or “side-by-side”) is where the housing of a connector is situated at a 180 degree angle of the PCB.

Hot-Pluggable, Hot-Swappable

The action of replacing, adding, or removing components without the need of shutting down or powering off the system. Connectors with this function are often used for the purpose of convenience or to save time and/or costs. These connectors usually have ground pins in all four corners that are longer than the rest. This way, before live electrical connections are mated, the ground connection can be secured.


Refers to the amount of water in the atmosphere. Electrical connectors and devices often have a level of resistance against humidity. This level expresses the maximum amount of time the electrical connector or device is able to work to its highest potential while enduring a certain degree of humidity in the air.

Humidity Test

Humidity is one of the many factors that might affect the reliability or life expectancy of a material or product. A humidity test is a reliability test that is performed to evaluate the performance of a connector, device, or other electronic product in a humid environment.



Stands for Insulation Displacement Connector. These are connectors designed with sharp blades at the contact points that quickly and easily cut and strip the insulating cable housing to expose the wire inside. When this connector is used, a strong contact between cable and connector is made. IDC are often compatible with ribbon cable and provide a clip on top to further secure the interconnect. This type of connector does not require extra steps to cut, strip and crimp which greatly reduces costs and the time needed to make a connection.

Insertion Force

The exceeded strength required to fully mate two separate connectors or contacts. Insertion force only accounts for the force needed to join the actual contacts to their matching sockets and does not include any external measures that are used to strengthen the connection (for example, mechanical fixtures). Insertion force is measured as the maximum force a connector or contact requires to be mated and uses newtons (N) to express this force.

Insulation Displacement Connector


Insulation, Insulating Material

Material with a low level of electrical conductivity. This material is used as a barrier between a conductor and other potential contacts to prevent the flow of electrons. Insulation is often found wrapped around a wire (making it a cable) or in an area surrounding a group of contact pins within a connector. Materials typically used include plastic, rubber, PVC, etc. Insulation must be stripped from a wire in order to provide a mechanical connection between wire and connector or another device.

Insulation Resistance (IR) Test

A reliability test performed to measure the total resistance of the area between any two points that are seperarted by an insulator. This test is able to determine the effectiveness of the dielectric in resisting the flow of electrons. The test can be performed before the product's use or after time to determine the resistance and quality of insulation over an extended period of time.


A part of a connector or cable that provides insulation between various conduction points and their contacts. When installing wire-to-board connectors, the insulator must be stripped to allow for an effective interconnect between the wire and contact point.

Interconnect Device

See Connector


Formerly referred to as the Institute of Printed Circuits, Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits. Now referred to as Association Connecting Electronics Industries, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is an institute that aims to standardize the production and assembly of electronic equipment.


A certification given by the International Standard for Automotive Quality Management Systems. This standard is based on the development of a management process focused on overall quality. The purpose of this certification is to encourage continual improvement and the prevention of defects and waste during the production process.

ISO 9001

A part of the ISO 9000 family of international standards that rely on a thorough quality management system (QMS). ISO 9001 refers to the requirements that organizations must fulfill in order to receive this certification. In order to gain and retain this standard, an organization must follow an approved QMS and undergo various audits.


Land Pattern

See PCB Layout

Last Time Buy

Refers to a period of time (often set with a predetermined final date) in which a manufacturer offers a soon-to-be discontinued (obsolete) product to be sold for the last time. At this time, MOQ might be increased to ensure that there is no leftover inventory of this soon-to-be discontinued product.


The amount of time required to produce and manufacture a product. This time includes every step of the process from obtaining the order to shipping the product. Lead-time is determined based not only on the production process, but also in consideration of the quantity of the order and the orders placed by other parties.

Low-Level Contact Resistance (LLCR)

LLCR is used to measure the resistance of an electrical system with an open-circuit voltage. As the name would suggest, the voltage is very low therefore, does not disrupt the films in the contact interface.


See Last Time Buy



The action of joining two connectors together that allows for a flow of current across the connection. Proper mating is essential during assembly in order to ensure an effective connection. The counter action of this process is known as unmating or demating.

Mating Cycles

As interconnects are mated and unmated, connectors will endure a bit of wear and tear. Overtime, this might affect the integrity of an interconnect system. Mating cycles refer to the number of times a connector can be mated and unmated before its electrical and/or mechanical performance is affected.

Mating Height

The measurement of distance between two parallel (mezzanine) PCBs that are facing each other and use vertical connectors to make an interconnect. This term is used strictly for the measurement in relation to Board-to-Board connectors. Mating height is typically measured in millimeters (mm).

Mating / Unmating Force

The mating force is the force required for the successful mating (or connection) of an interconnect system. On the contrary, unmating force is the force required for the successful unmating (or seperation) of an interconnect system.

Mechanical Fixing

A part of a connector that is added for the purpose of providing a robust, secure interconnect between a connector and its PCB or mating connector. Mechanical fixings do not carry the flow of electrons but solely function as additional strength to ensure a secure connection. These fixings help to keep the interconnect viable during harsh environmental conditions or when shock or vibration occur.

Mechanical Stress

An action that causes physical wear and tear of an electrical connector or device. This strain or wear can come from a variety of factors, such as: shock, vibration or harsh environmental conditions, frequent mating/mis-mating, temperature changes, etc.

Minimum Order Quantity

The lowest number of units ordered by a customer at one time that a manufacturer is willing to accept and fulfill. Companies will set an MOQ to ensure that the order accepted by the manufacturer makes sense economically.


When two connectors fail to mate to one another, mis-mating occurs. This can be a simple mistake that only requires the user to try to make the interconnect once again. However, on the other hand, this mistake could harm the connector rendering it unsalvageable. Many features have been added to certain connectors to help lessen the likelihood of mis-mating issues. One example of these solutions is a floating connector.


A form of mis-mating where the two ends of a connector just do not meet up exactly as they should causing the interconnect to not be completed. This often happens during blind mating processes or when there are multiple connectors on the same side of a PCB. Many features can be used to ensure misalignment does not happen. Some of these features include: alignment posts, polarization, spring-like contacts (floating connectors), etc.


A design variation of electronic devices or equipment that uses the compilation of many sub-parts together to form a final product. Modular designs allow for a way to alter and replace certain parts easily.


See Minimum Order Quantity


Obsolescence, Obsolete product

This is when a manufacturer has declared a product to no longer be available or further manufactured in any way. At this time, a manufacturer might decide to allow for a Last-Time-Buy period or stop its production/sale immediately.

Operating Temperature Range

This expresses the range of highest and lowest temperatures within which a connector is able to be used while maintaining continuous, optimal performance. Outside of this range, a connector might encounter errors or failures.


PC Tail

See Throughboard


An electric circuit plane made of a conducting material that is used: (1) to affix electronic components to a determined location by using soldering, and (2) as a means of providing an organized system of reliable connections between various terminals. A PCB offers mechanical support and electrical pathways that allow for secure interconnects to be made.

PCB Layout

Refers to the design involved in the positioning of components and soldering slot placement. PCB layouts are designed using electronic design automation (EDA) tools and must consider various design factors, such as: card dimensions, components and heat sink positioning, space constraints, etc. PCB Layout is also sometimes referred to as Land Pattern.

PCB Real Estate

See Space Constraints


See Product Change Notification

Pin Header

A basic form of an electrical connector. These connectors consist of one or more rows and are available in various pitch spacings. They are made with metal pins that act as conductors and are joined together by insulating materials. Pin headers are known for their simplicity and cost-effective solutions.

Pin Spacing

See Pitch


See Throughboard


Then distance or length between the center of one pin (within a connector) to the center of the next adjacent pin. Pitch is typically measured in inches (in) or millimeters (mm). The most common pitches are 2.54mm (0.1”) pitch and 1.27mm (0.05”) pitch but can also be adjusted to meet customized requirements.


Board-to-board or B2B refers to connectors that act as the mating device between two separate PCBs. These connectors are directly mounted to each PCB to make a successful interconnect.

Plating Finish

In the manufacturing of electronic connectors, copper is often used as the base material for contacts or pins. However, for certain uses, copper is not the best material to be used, therefore requiring an additional plating finish. A plating finish is the additional material that is adhered to the conductor or contact surface of a connector. The most common materials used for this process are Gold (Au) and Tin (Sn). These two materials have their own benefits, but both offer certain advantages. Gold and Tin both provide solutions by being less susceptible to corrosion and by providing an easier surface for soldering.

Plating Thickness

The thickness of a plating finish is determined by the connector’s application. For example, rugged solutions used in harsh environmental conditions may require a thicker plating than among most other applications. Overall, plating thickness is usually very thin and measured in microns (um) or microinches (µin).


A feature added to both sides of a connector housing to always ensure a correctly mated interconnect. Polarizing features require the connectors to be mated in only one specific orientation. A polarized rectangular connector, for example, cannot be successfully mated if it were to be turned 180°. Polarization features include an asymmetrical design that fits in only one orientation to its complementary connector.

Printed Circuit Board


Product Change Notification

A letter or notice provided by a manufacturer to its customers to inform of any changes that have been made to a manufactured product or the process of its production.


An early model or sample of a product that has not gone into the manufacturing stage. A prototype is built and used to test a concept or design. Often used to test the physical properties and endurance of its electrical products.



RAST stands for Raster Anschluss Steck Technik and is the industry standard for home appliances. RAST is typically followed by a numerical value which represents the contact pitch (in millimeters) of a specific RAST connector. These connectors typically employ insulation displacement contact (IDC) technology, creating an easier installation process.


See Research & Development

Radio Frequency (RF)

A frequent rate of an electromagnetic force, current or voltage that gives off a frequency range anywhere from 20 kilohertz (kHz) to around 300 gigahertz (GHz). This kind of frequency is often used in radio and television devices.

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

A form of Electromagnetic Interference where an electrical frequency creates a disturbance by an external source that could potentially affect the electrical circuit. However, this form is closely related to signal integrity due to transmission sources such as TVs, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, mobile phones, radios, etc. This interference could cause the functions of a device to slow down or stop working entirely. In order to prevent this issue, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) must be ensured by shielding entire systems that put out radio frequency signals.


Stands for the “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals.” This EU organization regulates the use of chemical substances used in manufacturing for the purpose of the protection of human health and safety and the environment. They create an extensive list of these chemical substances used in manufacturing and ban the use of substances that could be harmful to humans or the environment.

Reflow Solder

One of the most common processes for PCB soldering. During this process, a paste-like substance is added to the surface of a PCB. Next, the connector or device is laid on top. The PCB will then be heated up (by a reflow oven, for example) which will liquify the substance to activate the solder. Once the substance has cooled, it will solidify creating a solder joint between PCB and its device or connector.


A characteristic of a product that is trustworthy or performs consistently well while under certain conditions or within a certain amount of time. This word is often used to describe connectors that perform well under pressure (whether it be environmental or time factors).

Research & Development

An activity within a company that involves the development of new or improved products, manufacturing methods, production processes, services, etc. The steps of R&D may include planning, research, development, testing, marketing, or product release.

Resistance (Electrical)

The measure of difficulty within an electrical current that expresses the opposition to its electrical flow. This measurement is given in Ohms (Ω). Many physical factors, such as the conducting material or its shape, may affect the resistance of a current. Other factors, such as temperature, can also affect the rate of resistance.

Restriction List

A compilation made my REACH of materials or substances that are not allowed or completely banned to be used in certain applications. REACH provides documents for each material/substance to further explain the reasoning for their restriction.


See Radio Frequency


See Radio Frequency Interference


A directive which stands for the “Restriction of Hazardous Substances” for the production of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). The purpose of RoHS is to prevent the risks of EEE waste on humans and the environment. The RoHS Directive prevents the use of certain substances in the manufacturing of EEE that can cause harm to others and encourages the implementation of recycling processes in order to lower the effects of hazardous substances.


Salt Spray Test

A reliability test performed to determine a material or surface coating's resistance to corrosion. This test is a standardized and popular corrosion test method that provides an accelerated corrosion attack of the coated samples. This allows the tester to determine the suitability of the coating for use as a protective finish.

Sample Size

The quantity or number of individual pieces or product samples that will be measured, observed or tested before their approval. These pieces must undergo and pass numerous tests before being approved for sale.


The term for when a connector’s contacts or pins are slightly recessed and protected by a shroud or extended housing to prevent their physical damage when they are either not mated or during the act of being mated to another connector.


Staggering the order in which the contacts on a PCB mate when the connectors are pressed together. This occurs when multiple connectors with different length mating contacts come together. For safety reasons, for example, the grounding conductor may connect and complete the connection before the current-carrying conductor.

Shock (mechanical)

A criteria used for testing the durability and reliability of mated connectors. During this reliability test, a set of connectors will undergo a series of mechanical shocks and random vibrations in the direction of all three axes (X, Y, and Z). Because connectors are bound to encounter at least a little bit of shock during their operation, this test is performed to ensure the integrity and endurance of a product.

Shock, Half Sine

A specific type of shock testing criteria that is usually shown by a peak acceleration and specific duration. The shape of a half sine shock impulse is shown as a half sine wave. This particular shock test is performed to test how well a system is able to withstand a drop, hit, impact, fall, explosion, or any other source of vibration that a device might encounter during operation. In order to test this, a half sine shock impulse is created by imitating these abrupt directional changes which cause a rapid change in velocity. Many different materials are used (such as rubber) to imitate half sine shock that differ in magnitude and duration.


A feature often found on the housing material of male connectors that is used to protect the pins from damage when the connector is not mated. This usually consists of an extended housing that is boxed up and around the pins until they are level with one another.

Sine Vibration Testing

During this reliability test, a device is exposed to a single frequency sine tone at a determined amplitude for a certain amount of time. A sine vibration test may run a sine sweep to expose the device to sine tones with varied frequencies at a specified rate and duration. The purpose of this test is to identify resonant conditions within the product being tested.

Signal Current

A flow of current within a circuit that is different from power current. Signal current transmits a signal encoded with data and typically comes at a lower level of current in comparison to power.

Signal Integrity

Abbreviated as SI, Signal Integrity is the measurement of the quality of an electrical signal. A clean signal produces a higher integrity. Many outside factors can harm the signal integrity of an electronic device such as distance, crosstalk, or other interferences.


Typically referred to as a female connector, a socket is a connector that allows for the pin(s) from male connectors (or plugs) to be inserted into their opening(s). There are numerous forms of sockets that accept a variety of layouts and orientations.


A mixture of metal and other materials that is used in the jointing of two metal components. It is often used at the junction point to join together a device or connector with a PCB’s attachment point. This solder material is made to be easily melted down into its liquid form. In its liquid form, solder will bond to the solder joints creating contact areas between the two metal components (PCB and device or connector), but once the solder cools down, it will return to its solid form. After this process, the two components will be attached to one another and able to pass a current of electrons from the device to the PCB (and vice versa).

Solder Heat Resistance Test (SHRT)

A reliability test performed on the terminals of semiconductors to ensure that they can withstand the heat they are subject to during the soldering process. If this test precedes another reliability test, it is sometimes referred to as "preconditioning." To perform this test, a solder dip method is used to simulate the heat and other conditions encountered during the wave soldering process for both radiated and conducted heat.

Solder Joints

The place found on a PCB or contact where a device or cable has been connected using solder.

Solder Surface Tension

During the soldering process, solder is melted down to adhere to the device or tails/leads being attached to a PCB. At its liquid state, solder material exhibits surface tension properties that help it properly adhere to the PCB surface or its contacts (making solder joints). However, because of the surface tension properties of molten solder, issues may arise during the process, such as creating an issue known as “tombstoning.”

Solderability Test

One of the most essential reliability tests performed to determine if a component provides the degree of wetting necessary for a solid solder connection.

Space Constraints

This is the amount of space that might be occupied by a connector or other device within a PCB. When designing a PCB, many factors must be considered in order to allow for the right amount of physical space. Things that should be considered are: amount of space for the actual device, the space required for connectors and cables to be run, and the amount of free space that allows for natural cooling within the PCB.

Spring Contact

A contact within a connector that is made from a form of bent metal. The purpose of this type of contact is to allow for greater flexibility when mating two connectors together and to be more resistant against shock and vibration during operation.

Spring Pin, Spring Loaded Contact

Sometimes referred to as “pogo pins”, named after the toy they are based on, are commonly used to establish an electrical contact between two objects whose relative mechanical positions cannot be well-controlled, or in connector system devices that require frequent mating/unmating cycles. Spring Loaded Contacts are used because of the flexibility they offer during the mating process and for their ability to resist the strains of vibration and shock.


Board-to-board or B2B refers to connectors that act as the mating device between two separate PCBs. These connectors are directly mounted to each PCB to make a successful interconnect.


Any documents written by a company that express their quality requirements of a product being produced or the steps taken to manufacture it. Other documents might include principles of conduct or an agreed level of quality or attainment. Most companies will provide standards for each of their products and processes to ensure their customers receive consistent and high-quality products.

STEP Files

Formally known as ISO 10303, stands for the “Standard for the Exchange of Product Data.” This is a special coded file format made within a Computer Aided Design program that is often used for 3D models. The extension for these files are “.stp” or “.step”.

Strain Relief

The part of a device (usually the insulator or housings) that deflects the stress or strain put upon connector contacts. If there is no strain relief, the durability or operating functions may be decreased or harmed. Strain relief is essential in producing a durable, long-lasting connector.

Substance Resistance

When substances are used to create a product or device, the chemicals often found in certain substances may have an effect on the device or other substances being produced. Substance resistance is a guideline that shows how well a device or product will withstand the effects of a substance being used.

Supply Chain

A sequence of processes that allow for the production of a product. This combination of processes include layers of suppliers and producers and start from obtaining the raw materials all the way to the distribution of a product.

Surface Mount

The process or method of attaching electronic components or connectors directly to the surface of a PCB. The devices that are mounted to a PCB in this way are referred to as Surface Mount Devices (SMD). This process is more advanced in comparison to the Throughboard process as all steps of the process can be manufactured using automation which can lower costs and provide a higher level of quality.


Stands for “Substances of Very High Concern”. These are chemicals or substances that have been found to be harmful to humans or the environment. This label is given to certain substances as a part of REACH and then placed on a list as a concern. If a product that a company manufactures contains over 0.1% of any SVHC, it must be reported to their customers. The purpose of this process is for REACH to restrict and eventually ban the use of these SVHC.


Technical Drawing

A document or diagram that shows the precise drawing, layout, or plan of a product. This will include information about how the product is constructed and how it functions. In addition, this drawing might include specifications, features, possible applications, etc. At Greenconn, technical drawings are provided with each product.

Temperature Rise Test

This reliability test is conducted to gauge the performance of a cable assembly or connector coming into contact with a rising temperature. The purpose of this test is to make sure that a product does not overheat during its operation and can withstand the pressure of high-rising temperatures.

Thermal Shock Test

A reliability test performed to evaluate a product's ability to withstand variations of temperatures that cause tension in the materials. This process, also referred to as "temperature shock testing", simulates extreme environmental use conditions by exposing the products to alternating low and high air temperatures that tend to accelerate the rate of failures caused. This alternation of temperatures happens at a very rapid rate during testing.


A process of attaching connectors or devices to a PCB using solder. Before soldering, the tails or leads of the devices are threaded through holes within the PCB. The Wave Soldering technique is employed to wet the tails/leads sticking out from the underside of the PCB. Once the tails/leads have dried, the soldering process has been completed. While this process provides for a strong solder connection in comparison to Surface Mount Soldering, it is not as frequently used due to the difficulty of automating its assembly process.


The amount of data being passed through a system or the rate at which data is processed. Throughput is often measured in bits per second (bps or bit/s).


When products are being manufactured, there is always a small margin for error. Most of the time, products will come out the exact dimentions as it was designed to be. However, due to errors within the manufacturing process or because of the materials used, devices must be able to tolerate a small fraction of difference in measurement. Tolerance refers to the measurement of error that a connector or device can withstand without facing any functionality or electrical issues.

Track, Trace

A conductor found on the surface of a PCB that transmits signals. The material often used is copper. This copper conductor is the flat, narrow section left behind after etching. These tracks or traces cannot overlap and also generate a high level of heat.



A certain connector orientation. A connector’s orientation refers to the orientation in which a connector is mounted to a PCB. This particular orientation (also referred to as “straight” or “right-angle”) is where the housing of a connector is situated at a 90 degree angle of the PCB.


A criteria that is used during the testing of mated connectors. Vibration and shock often occur during the operation of devices which use electrical connectors. In order to ensure their reliability, connectors must pass a series of vibration tests. Vibration tests are performed on these connectors in all X, Y, and Z axes while paying close attention to determine whether or not there are electrical discontinuities.


The SI unit (V) for electromotive force. This measures how strongly an electrical current is carried around an electrical circuit. It is measured by the electrical potential between two points of a conducting wire.


Also known as electromotive force, is the pressure from the power source of an electrical circuit that forces charged electrons through a conducting loop. Voltage is measured in volts (V).


Wave Solder

One of the methods of soldering components or connectors to a PCB. It is most commonly used for throughboard PCBs but can also be used for surface mount PCBs. During this process, the component tails or leads are threaded through the PCB surface so that they stick out through the underside of the PCB. Meanwhile, a tank of hot, liquid solder waits to come in contact with the components. The PCB is then placed on a surface, close enough to the tails/leads, to come in contact with the solder “wave”. The underside of the PCB, however, will not come in contact with the solder “wave”. After the solder has been adhered to the leads/tails of the device and the solder has solidified, a solder joint is made between the PCB and component/connector.


See Cable


See Cable-to-Board

Wiring Assembly

See Cable Assembly

Wiring Harness

See Cable Assembly

Wiring Loom

See Cable Assembly

Withdrawal Force

The exceeded strength required to disconnect two mated connectors or contacts. Withdrawal force only accounts for the force needed to separate the actual contacts from their sockets and does not include any external measures that are used to strengthen the connection (for example: mechanical fixtures). This force is measured as the maximum force a connector or contact can withstand without being separated and uses newtons (N) to express this force. Often used interchangeably with Holding Force.

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