Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access

Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access

In today’s ever-more connected society, authenticating identities and protecting data is essential to keep users safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between.

Two-factor authentication plays a key role in such protection strategies, and can be implemented as an easy to use solution using advanced smart card technology. Certificate-based technology generates and stores credentials such as private keys, passwords, and digital certificates inside the protected environment of the smart card chip.

In one such solution, users must supply both their personal authenticator device and password to authenticate, providing a critical second level of security beyond simple passwords alone to protect valuable digital business resources.

This innovatively-designed two-factor authenticator solution comes in the form of a USB stick. GCT is similarly innovative, being the first to market with a nano SIM connector – a product which is now in full production. This motivated a leading player in data security technology to partner with GCT for their first mutual project, to integrate GCT’s SIM8051 into the USB authenticator where the Nano SIM connector facilitates ultra-secure data access. The companies worked together to cost down the connector for production.

The connector allows use of a SIM to hold certificates for encryption purposes. The SIM’s architecture and ciphering provides better security than conventional chip memory, as well as being more cost-effective. This use of a SIM for memory capacity rather than wireless capability is almost unique.

While being an economical solution, the SIM8051 offers a durability of 1,500 cycles, with an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. The housing material is LCP with UL94V-0 flame retardant rating.

Connector production is backed by extensive international support. Dealing directly with the customer in two different locations – Europe for design and Asia for production, GCT’s local presence in these markets was also instrumental to the smooth running of the project.

Introducing Ally, GCT’s New Americas Sales Manager

Ally Bocchieri Americas Sales Manager GCT

We have a new addition to the team! Please join me in welcoming Ally Bocchieri, GCT’s New Americas Sales Manager.  This also means we have another opportunity for a Q&A session, here’s what was discussed:

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role at GCT? 

I am settling in very well thank you! There has been a lot to think about when considering a sales strategy for a geography as large as the Americas.  It is my goal to replicate and build on the successes I’ve had in California on a much larger scale.  I am excited to work with our customer base and to build strong relationships with our distribution partners.

Q2. Can you give us some background on your career to date?

I started in the industry selling passive components 20 years ago. My personality is such that I have always focused on the customer service side of sales and therefore I have chosen to only work for/with companies that see this as a priority. I moved to selling PCB’s ten years ago and built a manufacturers rep. firm in California that focuses on custom build to print commodities. I was introduced to GCT 3 years ago and their product line and business model fit perfectly with my other product lines and service philosophy.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you brought to the GCT team?

Selling is all about relationships and it is very important to identify when there is a fit and, sometimes more importantly, when there isn’t.  I believe it is vital to be upfront and honest with my customers at every turn. One opportunity is not something I am willing to put the entire relationship in jeopardy for.

Q4.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

Wearables seem to be everywhere and across all industries: consumer, medical, military, communications, etc.  GCT have a broad and comprehensive product line up to facilitate this growth area, including microUSB/Type-C and SIM connectors and many more.

Q5.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I love working with customers that have custom cable assembly and connector requirements.  I am not an engineer by training but appreciate any opportunity I can to learn more about my commodity. Custom products allow me to dig right into the technical side and learn something new.  GCT capabilities in this department are excellent which certainly helps.  You can find out more about custom cable assembly solutions here on the GCT website.

Custom mating PCB and Overmolded cable connector solution for Door Entry Security System

GCT's Custom connector and cable assembly for door entry security system

Technology for building automation continues to evolve and expand its reach across many control, monitoring and management functions.  Security/Access Control is one particular area where there has been continued growth in both commercial and consumer markets.

As the equipment itself becomes ever more sophisticated, GCT was approached by a leading manufacturer of door entry security systems to create a custom solution for one of its latest products.

 

The Challenge

The customer required a bespoke mating connector system but with several key design constraints.  For a start, there was a limited amount of space available for the connector solution as it had to fit inside a compact panel within the building’s cavity walls.  The solution itself required a secure connector locking mechanism to prevent from tampering in the field, along with sealed properties to make it dust and waterproof.  Due the nature of being handled within a tight space environment, a highly flexible cable was also imperative.

 

The Solution

Given the array of different requirements, the team at GCT innovatively developed the following items to provide a solution.  A custom 3×4 grid mating connector was designed to ensure fit within the space restrictions.  An overmolded cable connector soldered to the flexible cable was also designed constructed from two molds, an inner low pressure mold to hold solder joints in place and prevent blow through of the 2nd stage outer high pressure mold which also provided a perfect finish.

In addition, GCT designed a boxed PCB header with flexible latches which slots into the cable connector overmold to create a strong locking system.  By using two grades of nylon (66 and 9T) on the two separate insulator parts, this created the correct balance of strength and flexibility for the latches.  This also allowed the connector to be processed at a high temperature but retain flexibility for latching.

To meet the sealing requirements, the PCB header is totally enclosed to prevent any ingress from potting material.  By enveloping the entire header outer walls using an innovative design for the cable connector housing, GCT achieved complete ingress resistance tested to IP65 by the customer.

Completing the solution was the manufacture of a special 12 core cable to meet the customer’s cable flexibility needs.

This custom mating PCB and overmolded cable connector solution is one of many projects GCT has helped customers.  To find out more about GCT’s bespoke connector and cable capabilities and how we can help with your next project, please visit our cable assembly and custom board to board connector pages on gct.co.

 

Taxis fare better with GCT custom cable assemblies

GCT Custom Cable Assemblies - Verifone Case StudyBlack cab drivers across London face many challenges, not only from stringent and changing legislation, but also from competitors such as Uber and Addison Lee. Traditional cabbies are fighting back though, with an action plan to guarantee a faster, smarter and greener future for London’s black cabs. Details include zero emission capable cabs by 2018, and adoption of new technologies such as fast Wi-Fi and electronic card payment with contactless support.

In fact, electronic payment ability has become mandatory since February 2016, when TfL announced that all licenced taxi drivers must offer passengers the option of paying their fare electronically at the point of sale.

Verifone has long been providing a valuable resource into this area; they are global market leaders in ePOS, offering over 25 years’ experience with taxi fleets. Their fully TfL compliant card payment solution accepts payment from all major Chip & PIN, swipe and contactless credit and debit cards, and can accept electronic payment via ApplePay and NFC enabled android devices.

The Challenge

Verifone’s provision of card payment technology to taxi fleets meant that they had to respond rapidly when TfL introduced their new legislation last year. They needed to fulfil an urgent request to equip nearly a quarter of London’s black cabs with not only ePOS card payment units, but also Fare Taximeters and taxi advertising systems that deliver a customer information channel on a 15” digital screen within the passenger compartment.

Their success in meeting the project’s tight deadlines was due in part to support from their trusted cable and connector supplier, GCT.  GCT designed a set of cable assemblies that, while being customised for connector arrangements and environmental resilience, were produced in the required production volumes within critical deadlines.

The GCT Custom Cable Assemblies Solution

GCT’s supply comprised four cable assembly types, using various custom combinations of Micro USB, USB, DSUB and Jack connectors. One example splits a USB A output into a Micro USB B male and a Micro USB B female connector; in another, the split is from mini HDMI to a DC Jack and DSUB 9 Pin connector.

The assemblies were customised for their environment as well as their connector combinations. The HDMI/DCJack/DSUB cable has a copper foil shield over its inner mould on the connectors to eliminate electrical noise interference and reduce signal attenuation. This also helps compliance with ATC and RoHS certifications. Additionally, the cables have a braid and PVC jacket to allow an extended flex cycle life – an important consideration as shock and vibration are ever-present parts of taxi vehicle operation.

As the cables were more complex than previously required, while being on a very tight delivery, GCT had to make special arrangements to meet Verifone’s requirements. After a prompt, early visit to Verifone’s premises to ensure a detailed understanding of the project, GCT set up a manufacturing plan that included extensive factory overtime. 100% quality checking and testing was performed, including extra technical and quality checks for the higher-complexity HDMI/DCJack/DSUB cable. Additionally, goods were delivered in batches to avoid any production line stop at Verifone.

“Success in this assignment depended in close co-operation between both companies,” comments Eren Ozkan, UK Project Manager at GCT, “Our task was made far easier, and turnaround was greatly facilitated, by the responsive support from Verifone’s engineers at all times throughout the project.”

The Feedback

Mike Wakefield, Inventory Manager at Verifone was also pleased with the project’s results. He comments:

“We originally approached GCT with this requirement because of our previous experience in working with them. Although these assemblies were more complex and on much shorter lead times than previous years’ deliveries, GCT’s production allowed us to meet our commitment to our customers. Although the project occasionally presented some technical challenges, we overcame these together in a timely manner.”

Visit gct.co/cable-assembly to learn more about GCT custom cable assemblies, manufacturing and testing capabilities, together with UL approval and ISO certification information.

Stronger than your average Hinged Micro SIM Connector

You can be assured that all GCT products have undergone rigourous tests to guarantee product quality and reliability that is second to none.  It’s what our reputation is built on and long may it continue as we push the performance of our connectors and cable assemblies.

For one of our latest products, the SIM7200, this is no exception.  The hinged microSIM connector has been subject to various tests to prove how tough it really is.  If you don’t believe us, here’s the durability test video!

For a start, it is capable of over 5000 mating cycles, which includes the contact, hinge and locking mechanisms of the SIM connector.

Mechanical shock testing subjected the connector to a total of 18 shocks at 490m/s2 accelleration across 3 difference axis, further demonstrating strong resiliance to drops and knocks.

Additionally, vibration tests saw the connector with a SIM card inserted exposed to a total of 15 minutes vibration from 10 to 55 to 10Hz frequency at a 1.52mm amplitude.

These are just a few of the tests that the SIM7200 has completed and sucessfully passed in accordance to EIA standards, demonstrating why it is stronger than your average hinged micro SIM connector.  Full test details can be found on the Product Specification on our website here.

Here at GCT, we’re commitment to offer our customers high quality products that will meet their application requirements completely.  And when you need something a bit more customised, we can assist with that too – just get in touch and we will be more than happy to help on your next project.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? GCT’s German Website Now Live

GCT's German Website is Now LiveIn case you haven’t heard, GCT’s German website is now live much to our excitement. We’ve worked tirelessly to get this up and running, making sure it provides the same great experience as our English site for all German speaking visitors to the GCT website.

Useful information and resources on the website can now be found translated, something we’ve very proud of as it allows us to demonstrates our connector expertise and knowledge and communicate this across a wider audience, specifically German!  For example, you will find a variety of useful information on board to board connectors here in the glorious German language.

It’s been just over 6 months since GCT appointed it’s German Sales Manager, Lars Klapproth, and clearly shows GCT’s intentions for the country.

“Germany remains a massive opportunity for us and is still the largest single market for our connector technologies. The German website not only makes it easier for customers and prospects to better understand our product and services, it is also our commitment share our extensive skills and insight in a local language,” commented Lars.  “With all the great technical content available on the website, it was important that this was translated to the highest of standards and I truly believe this was achieved for the German website.”

GCT’s German website now live at https://gct.co/de – please watch this space for further language versions of the website.  We’re keen to get the GCT in as many languages as possible, perhaps your local language will be next?

 

 

GCT’s USB4070 Vertical Type-C Connector is USBIF TID Certified

As connectors become increasingly smaller for certain market applications, physical connector integrity is becoming ever more critical for devices requiring a robust and reliable connection.

Enter GCT’s new range of USB Type-C connectors with a solution.  Specifically, the USB4070 vertical mount receptacle which has been tested and certified to USBIF TID standards.  This gives OEMs the confidence that designing in the USB4070 will provide the durability and performance required for their applications.  This could range from docking products to wearable technology devices where connectors are subject to rigorous usage.

USB4065 and USB4070 Type-C

In addition to the vertical mount USB4070, there are four horizontal mount versions within the GCT Type-C range, all of which have a drawn shell body giving the components a seamless construction and structural integrity.  This is not something widely available from the competition and proves that GCT continues to produce solutions to meet customer requirements.

The drawn shell body found on the horizontal mount Type-C connectors not only offers impressive durability characteristics, it also provides enhanced shielding properties against both EMI and cross talk too!

Now that the USB4070 Vertical Type-C Connector is USBIF TID certified, you can view the specifications here along with the full range of GCT USB Type-C connectors.  Please visit gct.co to see how these connectors plus many more can assist on your next project.

GCT Electronica 2016 Prize Draw Winners

GCT Electronica 2016 Prize Draw WinnersCan you believe it’s been over a month since Electronica Munich 2016 closed its doors? The team here at GCT had a fantastic show and we hope you did too.

A big Thanks to all those who visited us in Germany.  Those who managed to come by our stand will have had the opportunity to leave a business card in a free prize draw. There was a chance to win some fantastic prizes, all of which utilise GCT parts including Board to Board Connectors, Micro USB and FFC connectors.

I’m pleased to announce the Electronica 2016 prize draw winners of the competition, all have been notified and sent the following prizes:

Werner Bröring, Tyco Fire Protection Products – Neato Botvac

Carlo Scoccia, SeitronLifeBEAM Smart Helmet

Paolo Vernelli, ABB Building ProductsBose SoundLink Mini II

Thank you to all those who participated, we had an overwhelming number of entries into the competition.  We hope the Electronica 2016 prize draw winners enjoy their respective products, better luck to those who did not win this time around.

If there are any requirements on any of our connector products or services, please do get in touch to see how GCT can meet your requirements.

 

Join GCT at Electronica 2016 Munich

There’s not long to go before Electronica 2016 opens it doors again at the Messe Munich, Germany.  I’m pleased to announce that GCT it will be exhibiting this year showcasing its innovative range of connectors and custom cable solutions.

It will be a perfect opportunity to see our newly launched USB Type-C connector range, along with other great product lines including Board to Board, SIM and Lighting connectors plus many more.  All this can all be found in Hall B2, Booth 456, where you can also receive expert advice from the team on all our products and solutions.

Visitors to the stand can learn why GCT products have been the perfect solution for their design requirements, with millions ending up in devices and equipment ubiquitous to our daily lives. This is why GCT has become the first choice for many leading brands looking for quality interconnect products and services.

There will also be a chance to win some fantastic prizes at the show, including a Neato Botvac, Bose Wireless Speakers and LifeBeam Smart Cycle helmet – all of which utilise GCT connectors!

Electronica 2016 Munich will take place at the Messe München between November 8 – 11 2016. To request your complimentary one-day ticket e-code to the show (typically priced at EUR 34.50), please apply here. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Electronica 2016 Munich GCT

 

Meet Lars, GCT’s New German Sales Manager

Lars Klapproth German Sales Manager GCTWhat better way of introducing the latest addition to the GCT team than a Q&A session? Lars Klapproth joins us as our new German Sales Manager and has participated in a short interview. Let the questions commence!

Q1.  How are you settling into your new role?

It’s been a lively and busy month so far.  Meeting the wider team and learning about the GCT product portfolio has certainly helped me ease into the role quickly.

Q2. Can you give us some background on your career to date?

My career in sales spans over 20 years, 14 of which have been in the connector industry focusing on the automotive market.  I’ve also held roles outside of sales, such as Key Account Management and in Engineering.

Q3.  What skills and experience have you brought to the GCT team?

I adopt a very customer-centric approach in order to attract and retain top-tier clients.  Building customer relationships and providing excellent customer service is critical for growing any business and this is what I excel at.  My experience dealing with distributors, CEMs and OEMs will also be valuable.

Q4.  Which GCT products are popular in your territory?

Board to board connectors and Smart card connectors are very popular in the German market.  I also see an increasing demand for Modular Jacks and USB connectors, but most GCT lines tend to perform very well due to the product quality and suitability across a wide range of applications.

Q5.  Are there any market and product trends do you see currently?

The concepts of the ‘connected world’ and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now reality and with it brings a new wave of electronics to the market.  Many of these devices require GCT products such as USB assemblies, board to board connectors, SIM and memory card connectors.  Take home automation for example, our products meet the need of demanding and sophisticated features that equipment require in this sector.  Renewable/Green Energy and Wearable technology are also sectors that will see strong growth.

Q6.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m very enthusiastic about our recently launched USB Type-C range and I expect this will be very popular in Germany.  GCT will also be exhibiting at Electronica Munich this November and I’m looking forward to meeting with many customers, new and existing.