Molex launches PCIe cable connection for servers of the Open Computing Project – HPC News Analysis


LISLE, IL – October 12, 2022 – Molex, a global electronics company, has announced its NearStack PCIe Connector and Cable Assemblies for Next Generation Servers. Developed in collaboration with members of the Open Compute Project (OCP), NearStack PCIe replaces traditional racket card cabling solutions to improve signal integrity and improve system performance.

One feature of NearStack PCIe is the direct-connect twinax termination, eliminating the need for paddle cards within the cable assembly. Unlike competing cable ties, which are manually terminated by soldering cables on a PCB paddle card, NearStack uses a fully automated wire termination process. This high-precision process improves manufacturing efficiency, repeatability, and signal integrity.

“With its superior design, NearStack PCIe is ideal for the next generation of PCIe Gen-5 and Gen-6 systems,” said Bill Wilson, New Product Development Manager. Molex Project Solutions. “The product is capable of NRZ data rates of up to 32Gbps, enabling server OEMs to achieve unprecedented performance.”

Critical components of the Open Compute project

The Open Compute Project is a consortium of industry leaders dedicated to combining the best available technologies in developing modular hardware with high-speed, high-bandwidth capabilities.

NearStack PCIe has been defined and approved as standard by the Small Form Factor Committee (SFF) as SFF-TA-1026, and OCP recommends the technology as “TA-1026” for server reference designs. NearStack PCIe is also included in the OCP Modular – Extensible I/O (M-XIO) and Modular – Full Width HPM Form Factor (M-FLW) specifications as part of the next generation of OCP Data Center – Modular Hardware Systems (DC-MHS). As part of the open SFF standard, the technology is available to second source vendors under a reasonable, non-discriminatory (RAND) license. NearStack PCIe has already been sourced from a second source through these licenses, with additional licenses offered for multiple vendors. This strategy ensures inter-seller interoperability between Molex and other suppliers while building a robust supply chain.

Mechanical design optimizes space and simplifies integration

Molex has improved cable assemblies for efficient use of space as well as safe and easy connection. Smart, durable mechanical features, combined with an optional “corner exit” cable design, allow technicians to easily connect jumpers to crowded panels. In addition to alleviating space constraints, NearStack PCIe offers a low mating profile to improve airflow management and reduce interference with adjacent components.

NearStack PCIe also simplifies integration by supporting hybrid cabling, with a NearStack PCIe connector on one end and a legacy connector on the other. These connectors provide a simplified upgrade path for existing equipment, enabling customers to take advantage of new technology immediately without redesigning or replacing existing hardware.

Open the World Summit on Computing Project 2022

  • Visit Molex (booth No. B1) at OCP 2022 October 18-20 in San Jose, California, to see our new lineup of cable connectors on display and learn more about this new, innovative, industry-leading solution.
  • Watch three demos: a new modular data center system paving the way for the next generation OCP rack standard, an advanced Molex thermal solution designed to meet future pluggable I/O requirements and a single-phase liquid immersion cooling system.
  • Attend the Expo Hall session on October 19 to learn more about the SFF TA-1026 and the central role that NearStack PCIe plays in the upcoming OCP DC-MHS standard.

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