With the advent of higher signaling frequencies on today’s motherboard, evolution suggests that the electronic industry is near a phase transition of going from through hole mount to surface mount connectors. Current computer infrastructure supports assembly of motherboards using through hole mount connectors from a historical standpoint. This legacy has led placement equipment manufacturers to develop fabrication machines that do not consider long, thin devices such as a PCI or DIMM connector. The reassessment of the world’s method of motherboard manufacturing presents a challenge. Hence the question arises, what is the realistic lifetime of a through hole mount connector and what are the assembly and reliability issues associated with a proposed replacement such as a surface mount connector. This paper addresses the basic reliability concerns of a long, thin, surface mount PCI connector both with, and without retention features.

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