Connectivity to drive robust technology future

  • September 27, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) antennas, energy management in connected homes, and data centres that can handle AI data processing will be among the main technology advances in the coming years, according to a report from connector maker Molex.

The Illinois-based company’s report predicts a robust future of technology advancements and product innovations.

It says contactless connectors are slated to deliver increased reliability, durability and design advantages over physical, metal-to-metal contacts. V2X antennas will enable seamless communications between vehicles and infrastructure. The power required for connected homes will drive innovations in energy management. And hyperscale data centres built on 224Gbit/s architecture will enable unprecedented connectivity in the face of AI-driven data-processing requirements.

The report – “Predicting the Connectivity of Tomorrow: Innovations Driving the Connected World” – offers insights into the transformative powers of connectivity, which is poised to unlock ground-breaking product innovations.

“From factory floors and hyperscale data centres to self-driving vehicles and smart, energy-efficient homes, connectivity innovations are shaping our technology future,” said Joe Nelligan, CEO of Molex. “Every step forward requires cross-disciplinary engineering, world-class manufacturing and constant collaboration with customers to push the boundaries of high-speed, high-power connectors. We’re excited to serve as a catalyst in this global push to lead the evolution of connectivity while accelerating the evolution of life-changing solutions.”

Connectivity is the cornerstone of new products found in every industry and application area. To help product designers and engineers prepare for what lies ahead, Molex s experts took a closer look at innovations on the rise, including contactless connectivity, V2X communications, connected energy-independent homes, and centralised hyperscale hubs of connectivity.

Timely observations shed light on the trajectory of these important innovations, as well as their increasing impact on automobiles, consumer devices, factories, medical wearables, smartphones, smart homes, data centres and more. Additionally, Molex experts offer perspectives on the critical role that connectivity plays in driving the creation of business models, such as transportation-as-a-service, which challenges conventional vehicle ownership.

Contactless connectors use small RF transceivers and receivers to let devices communicate and exchange data without requiring physical contact between them. They also support much higher data rates than previously possible with existing wireless protocols, such as Bluetooth and wifi.

Distinct reliability and durability advantages over physical, metal-to-metal contacts make contactless connectors suitable for video displays, harsh environments, sleek and light consumer electronics, and industrial robotics. The pace of development in this area is gaining momentum as companies realise opportunities for streamlined product designs, reduced costs and seamless device pairing.

Ongoing developments in antennas, sensors and connectors are among the most relevant enablers of evolving V2X capabilities. Close collaboration with automakers and suppliers is essential to defining optimal antenna placement and performance. Additionally, advancements in non-conductive materials will allow future connected vehicles to incorporate seamless designs without sacrificing connectivity to satellites, wifi networks and other systems.

Connected homes will combine IoT functionality with battery storage systems to ensure more control and visibility over energy production and usage. Innovations in energy management, such as mini-inverters for solar panels and smart battery management systems, should improve energy-usage efficiency and control. These storage systems are expected to play a crucial role in the intelligent monitoring and routing of power where it’s needed most.

Hyperscale data centres built on 224Gbit/s architectures will enable artificial intelligence (AI) to help consumers optimise energy consumption while empowering businesses to keep pace with relentless requirements for real-time data processing. The rapid adoption of generative AI is forcing hyperscale data centres to evolve.

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