FCI, a leading developer of connectors and interconnect systems, is expanding the application range of its popular AirMax VS® high-performance connector system with the addition of connectors that are optimized to minimize impedance discontinuities and unacceptable signal loss when inserted in 85-ohm channels. The connectors’ mating interfaces also satisfy demands for backwards compatibility to legacy 100-ohm product interfaces ensuring a smooth transition to next-generation designs. In 2009, new-generation server platforms now provide support for 5 GT/s PCI Express® links and Intel® Quick Path Interconnect (Intel® QPI) links between processors or processors and I/O controllers. With the Intel® QPI architecture offering transfer rates of 6.4 Gb/s to > 8 Gb/s per lane, memory bandwidth utilization is significantly lower, enabling multiple bi-directional 10 GbE ports in a server. FCI has developed several high-performance AirMax VS 85-ohm connectors to support Intel QPI links. Standard connector configurations include vertical and right-angle header and receptacle modules to enable right-angle and coplanar connections. These products have been tested and fully comply with differential insertion loss, impedance, and crosstalk requirements defined in the Intel QPI connector specifications.Each insert-molded, lead-frame wafer provides 15 contacts, capable of supporting five highspeed differential signal pairs per column. Connectors can be supplied with insert-molded, lead-frame wafers on either 2mm or 3mm column pitch. Connector configurations with 3 differential signal pairs per column are also under development with some connector types available now in sample quantities.