PCB Connector Footprint Tolerance
Friday, April 14, 2023

Section: PCB & Laminates

Project Leaders

Joe Fuller, Intel

Chandra Krishnaswamy, Dell
Sudip Thomas, Intel

Call-for-Participation Webinar

Call-for-participation webinar presentation (includes link to recorded webinar)
May 9 & 10, 2023

Statement of Work & Project Statement


I/O bandwidth is more than doubling every three years. While card electromechanical (CEM) compliant connectors remain at 1.0 mm pitch, newer form factors, as detailed in specifications such as SFF TA-1002, reduce connector pitch to 0.6 mm.  This combination of size reduction and bandwidth increase is driving new and tighter PCB/FPC (flexible printed circuit) design requirements that may exceed the capability of fabrication processes used for previous generations of I/O connector interfaces. In short, connector land pattern tolerances drive process requirements not previously needed. Identifying which processes are needed, conducting risk assessment, and meeting product quality requirements demands an understanding of complex process interactions.
It is against this background that an informed and comprehensive study is required to provide product designers using these high I/O bandwidth connectors with the information they need to successfully build products at a predictable quality level.

Project Focus

This is a fast-turnaround project that will: 
  • Determine standards and footprints to be considered  
  • Determine manufacturing requirements to be considered
  • Determine PCB/FPC supplier capability and capacity
  • Develop quality assessment inputs
  • Develop recommendations for quality control

Project Benefits & Value to Industry

  • Enable product designers using high I/O bandwidth connector footprints to understand which manufacturing processes are needed for their products through risk assessments and enable PCB suppliers to meet product quality requirements
  • Provide better understanding of risks associated with high I/O bandwidth connector footprints
  • Reduce product qualification costs and associated time to market

Outcome of Project

  • Characterize industry capability and capacity for input into risk assessments
  • Produce a document that provides the inputs needed to match risk and quality with product requirements to enable PCB fabricators to create products that meet design intent

Steps for Joining the Project

Please note: iNEMI membership is required to participate in this project. Steps for joining the project follow.

For iNEMI members:
  • Complete and sign the Project Statement (above)
  • Email the completed statement to steve.payne@inemi.org.
For non-members:
  • Please note: this is a fast-turnaround project in which non-member organizations can participate for a one-time participation fee.
  • Contact iNEMI Project Manager Steve Payne (steve.payne@inemi.org) for further details.


Steve Payne