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Title:
WAFER ASSEMBLY CABLE CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/048529
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A wafer assembly cable connector is described. The wafer assembly cable connector can be modular and vertically fixed to a circuit board. The wafer has a thickness that is substantially less than its length or width. A plurality of wafers can be stacked onto each other and vertically connected and secured to a circuit board.

Inventors:
SCHERER, Richard J. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
CASTIGILIONE, Joseph N. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
NEU, Steven A. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
CRONCH, Daniel F. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
SCHMIDT, Leon D. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
DOYE, Dennis L. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
LEE, William J. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
Application Number:
US2016/050032
Publication Date:
March 23, 2017
Filing Date:
September 02, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
International Classes:
H01R12/58; H01R12/62; H01R12/59; H01R12/70; H01R13/518
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003084002A12003-10-09
WO1995013636A11995-05-18
Foreign References:
EP2717386A12014-04-09
US20100190373A12010-07-29
US20110159743A12011-06-30
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOSHREFZADEH, Robert S. et al. (3M Center, Office of Intellectual Property CounselPost Office Box 3342, Saint Paul Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wafer assembly for electrically connecting a plurality of wires to a circuit board, comprising: an electrically insulative wafer comprising:

a wire receiving face for receiving a plurality of wires and an opposite mounting face for mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board;

a plurality of terminals partially disposed within the wafer and forming a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face, each terminal comprising:

a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire; a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board; and

a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion; and a plurality of wires received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer, each wire terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal, the wafer having a width along the length of the mounting face, a thickness along a width of the mounting face, and a length as a separation between the wire receiving and mounting faces, the thickness being substantially less than the length and the width. 2. The wafer assembly of claim 1, wherein each wire is terminated at the contact portion of the corresponding terminal at a termination region, and wherein the electrically insulative wafer comprises a window extending along the width of the wafer and exposing the termination region of each wire.

3. The wafer assembly of claim 2 further comprising a cap covering and substantially matching the window.

4. A vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board, comprising a plurality of wafer assemblies of claim 1 horizontally stacked. 5. The vertical connector of claim 4 further comprising a frame comprising:

a body having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board;

a pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending from opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers; and

a pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending from opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers, the pairs of top and bottom arms keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

6. The vertical connector of claim 5, wherein each wafer comprises a plurality of recesses engag at least some of the arms in the pairs of first and second arms.

7. The vertical connector of claim 5, wherein the means for attaching the frame to a circuit board comprises a screw inserted into a screw hole of the frame from a top side of the frame, such that when the vertical connector is mounted on a circuit board, the screw is further inserted into a screw hole of the circuit board from a top side of the circuit board and secures the frame to the circuit board.

8. The vertical connector of claim 5, wherein the frame comprises:

a left pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending along a left direction from opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers;

a right pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending along a right direction from the opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers; a left pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending along the left direction from opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers; and a right pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending along the right direction from the opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers, the left pairs of top and bottom arms engaging at least one wafer in the plurality of wafer assemblies, and the right pairs of top and bottom arms engaging at least one other wafer in the plurality of wafer assemblies, the left and right pairs of top and bottom arms keeping the plurality wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

9. The vertical connector of claim 5 further comprising a frame comprising

a body having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board;

a plurality of left arms extending from the body along a left direction; and

a plurality of right arms extending from the body along a right direction, the plurality of left and right arms keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment. 10. A vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board, comprising:

a plurality of wafer assemblies horizontally stacked, each wafer assembly comprising:

an electrically insulative wafer comprising:

a wire receiving face and an opposite mounting face for mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board;

a plurality of terminals forming a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face, each terminal comprising:

a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire; a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board; and a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion; and a plurality of wires received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer, each wire terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal; and

a frame keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment such that the mounting faces of the insulative wafers lie in a same plane, the frame having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board.

Description:
WAFER ASSEMBLY CABLE CONNECTOR

BACKGROUND

Flexible circuits and assemblies are often used as connectors in various applications of electronics equipment, such as printers, computers, servers, monitors and the like. Such circuits offer a benefit over previously used rigid circuit boards in both flexibility and space savings.

Cable assemblies have been mounted to a circuit board by direct solder or by a separable connector. The cable assembly design uses compliant pins which are used in backplane and other similar non-cabled connectors; these connectors are usually pressed onto a circuit board using a mechanical pressing system.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to a wafer assembly cable connector. The wafer assembly cable connector can be modular and vertically fixed to a circuit board. The wafer has a thickness that is substantially less than its length or width. A plurality of wafers can be stacked onto each other and vertically connected and secured to a circuit board.

In one aspect, the present description relates to a wafer assembly for electrically connecting a plurality of wires to a circuit board. The wafer assembly includes an electrically insulative wafer and a plurality of wires received within the wafer. The electrically insulative wafer includes a wire receiving face for receiving a plurality of wires and an opposite mounting face for mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board. A plurality of terminals are partially disposed within the wafer and form a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face. Each terminal includes a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire, a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board, and a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion. The plurality of wires is received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer. Each wire is terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal. The wafer having a width along the length of the mounting face, a thickness along a width of the mounting face, and a length as a separation between the wire receiving and mounting faces. The thickness being substantially less than the length and the width.

In another aspect, the present description relates to a vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board. The vertical connector includes a plurality of wafer assemblies, described herein, horizontally stacked.

In further embodiments, the present description relates to a vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board further including a frame. The frame includes a body having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board. A pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extend from opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers, and a pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extend from opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers. The pairs of top and bottom arms keep the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

In another aspect, the present description relates to a vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board. The vertical connector includes a plurality of wafer assemblies, described herein, horizontally stacked and a frame keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment such that mounting faces of the insulative wafers lie in a same plane. The frame having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board.

These and various other features and advantages will be apparent from a reading of the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The disclosure may be more completely understood in consideration of the following detailed description of various embodiments of the disclosure in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wafer assembly cable connector according to the present description;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of two wafer assembly cable connectors stacked onto each other; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of four wafer assembly cable connectors secured to a frame;

FIG. 4 is a and schematic diagram side view of the frame assembly of FIG. 3 secured to a circuit board; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another wafer assembly cable connector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration several specific embodiments. It is to be understood that other embodiments are contemplated and may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the present disclosure. The following detailed description, therefore, is not to be taken in a limiting sense.

All scientific and technical terms used herein have meanings commonly used in the art unless otherwise specified. The definitions provided herein are to facilitate understanding of certain terms used frequently herein and are not meant to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers expressing feature sizes, amounts, and physical properties used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term "about." Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the foregoing specification and attached claims are approximations that can vary depending upon the properties desired by those skilled in the art utilizing the teachings disclosed herein. The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all numbers subsumed within that range (e.g. 1 to 5 includes 1, 1.5, 2, 2.75, 3, 3.80, 4, and 5) and any range within that range.

As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" encompass embodiments having plural referents, unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

As used in this specification and the appended claims, the term "or" is generally employed in its sense including "and/or" unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

As used herein, "have", "having", "include", "including", "comprise", "comprising" or the like are used in their open ended sense, and generally mean "including, but not limited to". It will be understood that "consisting essentially of, "consisting of, and the like are subsumed in "comprising," and the like.

Spatially related terms, including but not limited to, "lower," "upper," "beneath," "below," "above," and "on top," if used herein, are utilized for ease of description to describe spatial relationships of an element(s) to another. Such spatially related terms encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the particular orientations depicted in the figures and described herein. For example, if an object depicted in the figures is turned over or flipped over, portions previously described as below or beneath other elements would then be above those other elements.

As used herein, when an element, component or layer for example is described as forming a "coincident interface" with, or being "on" "connected to," "coupled with," "stacked on" or "in contact with" another element, component or layer, it can be directly on, directly connected to, directly coupled with, directly stacked on, in direct contact with, or intervening elements, components or layers may be on, connected, coupled or in contact with the particular element, component or layer, for example. When an element, component or layer for example is referred to as being "directly on," "directly connected to," "directly coupled with," or "directly in contact with" another element, there are no intervening elements, components or layers for example.

The present disclosure relates to a wafer assembly cable connector. The wafer assembly cable connector can be modular and vertically fixed to a circuit board. The wafer has a thickness that is substantially less than its length or width. The wafer assembly cable connector can include a window that exposes a termination region of each wire. A plurality of wafers can be stacked onto each other and vertically connected and secured to a circuit board. In many embodiments, the wafer assembly cable connector can include a frame keeping a plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment such that mounting faces of the insulative wafers lie in a same plane. The frame having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board. The means for attaching can include a screw, for example, and the means for attaching can be used to engage and disengage the wafer assembly cable connector with and from the circuit board. While the present disclosure is not so limited, an appreciation of various aspects of the disclosure will be gained through a discussion of the examples provided below. FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wafer assembly cable connector 100 according to the present description. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of two wafer assembly cable connectors 100 stacked onto each other. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another wafer assembly cable connector 100.

The wafer assembly cable connector 100 includes an electrically insulative wafer 110 and a wire receiving face 112 for receiving a plurality of wires 130 (or cable 135) and an opposite mounting face 114 for mounting the wafer assembly 100 onto a circuit board 300 (see FIG. 4). A plurality of terminals 120 are partially disposed within the wafer 110 and form a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length LM of the mounting face 114.

Each terminal 120 includes a contact portion 122 disposed within the wafer 100 for making contact with a wire 130, a substantially straight press-fit portion 124 extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face 114 for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board 300, and a connecting portion 126 connecting the contact portion 122 to the press-fit portion 124.

A plurality of wires 130 is received within the wafer 110 from the wire receiving face 112 of the wafer 110. Each wire 130 is terminated at the contact portion 122 of a corresponding terminal 120. The wafer 110 has a width Ww along the length LM of the mounting face 114, a thickness Tw along a width WM of the mounting face 114, and a length Lw as a separation between the wire receiving 112 and mounting 114 faces. The thickness Tw is substantially less than the length Lw and the width Ww forming a wafer shape. In many embodiments the thickness Tw is at least 5 times the length Lw and the width Ww- In many embodiments the thickness Tw is at least 10 times the length Lw and the width Ww.

In many embodiments the electrically insulative wafer 110 includes opposing first 116 and second 118 wafer halves assembled to each other. In many of these embodiments the plurality of wires 130 is received onto the first wafer half 116. The first 116 and second 118 wafer halves are assembled to each other by a latch 117 of the second wafer half 116 engaging a hook 115 of the first wafer half 116. Thus the first 116 and second 118 wafer halves can snap together with any useful detent mechanism. In other embodiments the first 116 and second 118 wafer halves are assembled to each other by the first wafer half 116 adhering to the second wafer half 118 or the first wafer half 116 interference fitting or friction fitting to the second wafer half 118.

Each wire 130 can terminated at the contact portion 122 of the corresponding terminal 120 at a termination region 109. In many embodiments, the electrically insulative wafer 110 incldues a window 113 extending along the width of the wafer 110 and exposing the termination region 109 of each wire 130. The window 113 can provide access to the termination region 109 of each wire 130 to allow for convenient termination of the wire 130 to the contact portion 122 of the corresponding terminal 120. In many embodiments the window 113 provides clear access for laser welding of the wire 130 to the contact portion 122 of the corresponding terminal 120. In other embodiments the window 113 provides clear access for soldering or other types of termination of the wire 130 to the contact portion 122 of the corresponding terminal 120.

FIG. 5 illustrates a cap 108 covering and substantially matching the window 109 of an illustrative wafer assembly cable connector 100, as described above. The cap 108 can include fixing elements 106 that align with mating element 107 within or on the wafer 110. In some embodiments the fixing elements are hooks 106 and the mating elements are ledges 107 that engage the hooks 106 and secure the cap 108 into the window 109 of an illustrative wafer assembly cable connector 100. The cap 108 can thus "snap" into place over the window 109 of an illustrative wafer assembly cable connector 100. In some embodiments the cap 108 is electrically conductive.

In some embodiments the window 109 of an illustrative wafer assembly cable connector 100 is overmolded with a polymer material, to form an overmold and substantially fill the window 109. In many embodiments, the electrically insulative wafer 110 has one or more or a plurality of spaced apart substantially parallel grooves 125. Each groove 125 receiving a corresponding wire 130 in the plurality of wires.

A plurality of wafer assembly cable connectors 100 can be stacked onto each other. Thus the wafer assembly cable connectors 100 can be modular. In these embodiments the wafer assembly 101 includes a plurality of electrically insulative wafers 100. Each electrically insulative wafer has a wire receiving face 112 for receiving a plurality of wires 130 (or cable 135) and an opposite mounting face 114 for mounting the wafer assembly 100, 101 onto a circuit board 300.

A plurality of terminals 120 are partially disposed within the wafer 110 and form a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals 120 arranged along a length LM of the mounting face 114. Each terminal includes a contact portion 122 disposed within the wafer 100 for making contact with a wire 130, a substantially straight press-fit portion 124 extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face 114 for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board 300, and a connecting portion 126 connecting the contact portion 122 to the press-fit portion 124.

A plurality of wires 130 is received within the wafer 110 from the wire receiving face 112 of the wafer 110. Each wire 130 is terminated at the contact portion 122 of a corresponding terminal 120. The wafer 110 has a width Ww along the length LM of the mounting face 114, a thickness Tw along a width WM of the mounting face 114, and a length Lw as a separation between the wire receiving 112 and mounting 114 faces. The thickness Tw is substantially less than the length Lw and the width Ww forming a wafer shape. In many embodiments the thickness Tw is at least 5 times the length Lw and the width Ww- In many embodiments the thickness Tw is at least 10 times the length Lw and the width Ww.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of four wafer assembly cable connector 102 secured to a frame 200. FIG. 3 illustrates a vertical connector 200 for vertically mounting on a circuit board 300 a plurality of wafer assemblies 100 horizontally stacked onto each other. The mounting faces 114 of the insulative wafers 110 lie in a same plane 214 (see FIG. 4). FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram side view of the frame assembly 200 of FIG. 3 secured to a circuit board 300.

The plurality of wafer assembly cable connectors 100 can be stacked onto each other and secured with a frame 200. The frame 200 can include a body 201 having means for attaching 250 the frame 200 to a circuit board 300 when the vertical connector 103 is mounted on the circuit board 300. The means for attaching 250 the frame 200 to the circuit board 300 can also facilitate the mounting of the vertical connector 103 on the circuit board 300. The means for attaching 250 can be any useful fasteners such as a screw 252 that is inserted into a screw hole of the circuit board 300 from a top side of the circuit board 300 and secures the frame 200 to the circuit board 300 where the screw hole of the circuit board 300 is a threaded screw hole, such that when the vertical connector 103 is mounted on a circuit board 300, the screw 252 is screwed into the threaded screw hole. In many embodiments, the means for attaching 250 can be a screw 252 and a nut 254 where the screw passes through the circuit board 300 and the screw 252 engages the nut 254 from a bottom side of the circuit board 300.

The frame body 201 can include a plurality of arms extending away from the body 201. In many embodiments, the frame body 201 includes a pair of spaced apart opposing top arms 202 extending from opposite top ends of the body 201 proximate the wire receiving faces 112 of the insulative wafers 100 and a pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms 204 extending from opposite bottom ends of the body 201 proximate the mounting faces 114 of the insulative wafers 100. The pairs of top and bottom arms 202, 204 keep the plurality of wafer assemblies 101 secure and in alignment.

In many embodiments, each wafer 100 includes a plurality of recesses 113 engaging at least some of the arms in the pairs of first and second arms 202, 204. In further embodiments, the frame 200 includes a left pair of spaced apart opposing top arms 202 extending along a left direction from opposite top ends of the body 201 proximate the wire receiving faces 112 of the insulative wafers 100 and a right pair of spaced apart opposing top arms 202 extending along a right direction from the opposite top ends of the body 201 proximate the wire receiving faces 112 of the insulative wafers 100 for a total of four opposing top arms 202. The frame 200 includes a left pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms 204 extending along the left direction from opposite bottom ends of the body 201 proximate the mounting faces 114 of the insulative wafers 100 and a right pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms 204 extending along the right direction from the opposite bottom ends of the body 201 proximate the mounting faces 114 of the insulative wafers 100 for a total of four opposing bottom arms 204. The left pairs of top 202 and bottom 204 arms engaging at least one wafer 100 in the plurality of wafer assemblies, and the right pairs of top 202 and bottom 204 arms engaging at least one other wafer 100 in the plurality of wafer assemblies, the left and right pairs of top 202 and bottom 204 arms keeping the plurality wafer assemblies 100 secure and in alignment.

In many embodiments, the frame 200 includes a body 201 having means for attaching 250 the frame 200 to a circuit board 300 when the vertical connector 103 is mounted on the circuit board 300. The frame body 201 includes a plurality of left arms 202, 204 extending from the body 201 along a left direction, and a plurality of right arms 202, 204 extending from the body 201 along a right direction, the plurality of left and right arms 202, 204 keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies 100 secure and in alignment.

A vertical connector 103 for vertically mounting on a circuit board 300 includes a plurality of wafer assemblies 100 horizontally stacked and a frame 200 keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies 100 secure and in alignment such that the mounting faces 114 of the insulative wafers 100 lie in a same plane 214. The frame 200 having means for attaching 250 the frame 200 to a circuit board 300 when the vertical connector 103 is mounted on the circuit board 300. In many embodiments, the vertical connector 103 further includes an electrically conductive shield at least partially covering the plurality of wafer assemblies 100.

Thus, embodiments of WAFER ASSEMBLY CABLE CONNECTOR are disclosed as follows: Embodiment 1 is a wafer assembly for electrically connecting a plurality of wires to a circuit board, comprising:

an electrically insulative wafer comprising:

a wire receiving face for receiving a plurality of wires and an opposite mounting face for mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board;

a plurality of terminals partially disposed within the wafer and forming a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face, each terminal comprising:

a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire; a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board; and

a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion; and a plurality of wires received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer, each wire terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal, the wafer having a width along the length of the mounting face, a thickness along a width of the mounting face, and a length as a separation between the wire receiving and mounting faces, the thickness being substantially less than the length and the width.

Embodiment 2 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 1, wherein the electrically insulative wafer comprises opposing first and second wafer halves assembled to each other.

Embodiment 3 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 2, wherein the first and second wafer halves are assembled to each other by a latch of the second wafer half engaging a hook of the first wafer half.

Embodiment 4 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 2, wherein the first and second wafer halves are assembled to each other by the first wafer half adhering to the second wafer half.

Embodiment 5 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 1, wherein each wire is terminated at the contact portion of the corresponding terminal at a termination region, and wherein the electrically insulative wafer comprises a window extending along the width of the wafer and exposing the termination region of each wire.

Embodiment 6 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 5 further comprising a cap covering and substantially matching the window.

Embodiment 7 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 6, wherein the cap snaps in place over the window.

Embodiment 8 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 6, wherein the cap is electrically conductive. Embodiment 9 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 5, further comprising a window overmold substantially filling the window.

Embodiment 10 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 9, wherein the window overmold comprises an epoxy.

Embodiment 11 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 1, wherein the electrically insulative wafer comprises a plurality of spaced apart substantially parallel grooves, each groove receiving a

corresponding wire in the plurality of wires.

Embodiment 12 is a wafer assembly of embodiment 1 comprising a plurality of electrically insulative wafers, each electrically insulative wafer comprising:

a wire receiving face for receiving a plurality of wires and an opposite mounting face for

mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board;

a plurality of terminals partially disposed within the wafer and forming a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face, each terminal comprising:

a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire;

a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the

mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board; and a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion; and a plurality of wires received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer, each wire terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal, the wafer having a width along the length of the mounting face, a thickness along a width of the mounting face, and a length as a separation between the wire receiving and mounting faces, the thickness being substantially less than the length and the width.

Embodiment 13 is a vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board, comprising a plurality of wafer assemblies of embodiment 1 horizontally stacked.

Embodiment 14 is a vertical connector of embodiment 13, wherein the mounting faces of the insulative wafers lie in a same plane.

Embodiment 15 is the vertical connector of embodiment 13 further comprising a frame comprising:

a body having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board;

a pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending from opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers; and

a pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending from opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers, the pairs of top and bottom arms keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

Embodiment 16 is the vertical connector of embodiment 15, wherein each wafer comprises a plurality of recesses engaging at least some of the arms in the pairs of first and second arms. Embodiment 17 is the vertical connector of embodiment 15, wherein the means for attaching the frame to the circuit board also facilitate the mounting of the vertical connector on the circuit board.

Embodiment 18 is the vertical connector of embodiment 15, wherein the means for attaching the frame to a circuit board comprises a screw inserted into a screw hole of the frame from a top side of the frame, such that when the vertical connector is mounted on a circuit board, the screw is further inserted into a screw hole of the circuit board from a top side of the circuit board and secures the frame to the circuit board.

Embodiment 19 is the vertical connector of embodiment 18, wherein the means for attaching the frame to a circuit board further comprises a nut, such that when the vertical connector is mounted on a circuit board, the screw engages the nut from a bottom side of the circuit board.

Embodiment 20 is the vertical connector of embodiment 18, wherein the screw hole of the circuit board is a threaded screw hole, such that when the vertical connector is mounted on a circuit board, the screw is screwed into the threaded screw hole.

Embodiment 21 is the vertical connector of embodiment 15, wherein the frame comprises:

a left pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending along a left direction from opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers;

a right pair of spaced apart opposing top arms extending along a right direction from the opposite top ends of the body proximate the wire receiving faces of the insulative wafers; a left pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending along the left direction from opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers; and a right pair of spaced apart opposing bottom arms extending along the right direction from the opposite bottom ends of the body proximate the mounting faces of the insulative wafers, the left pairs of top and bottom arms engaging at least one wafer in the plurality of wafer assemblies, and the right pairs of top and bottom arms engaging at least one other wafer in the plurality of wafer assemblies, the left and right pairs of top and bottom arms keeping the plurality wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

Embodiment 22 is the vertical connector of embodiment 15 further comprising a frame comprising

a body having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board;

a plurality of left arms extending from the body along a left direction; and

a plurality of right arms extending from the body along a right direction, the plurality of left and right arms keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment.

Embodiment 23 is a vertical connector for vertically mounting on a circuit board, comprising: a plurality of wafer assemblies horizontally stacked, each wafer assembly comprising:

an electrically insulative wafer comprising:

a wire receiving face and an opposite mounting face for mounting the wafer assembly onto a circuit board; a plurality of terminals forming a row of spaced apart substantially parallel terminals arranged along a length of the mounting face, each terminal comprising:

a contact portion disposed within the wafer for making contact with a wire; a substantially straight press-fit portion extending beyond and perpendicular to the

mounting face for being inserted into a conductive via of a circuit board; and a connecting portion connecting the contact portion to the press-fit portion; and a plurality of wires received within the wafer from the wire receiving face of the wafer, each wire terminated at the contact portion of a corresponding terminal; and

a frame keeping the plurality of wafer assemblies secure and in alignment such that the mounting faces of the insulative wafers lie in a same plane, the frame having means for attaching the frame to a circuit board when the vertical connector is mounted on the circuit board. Embodiment 24 is the vertical connector of embodiment 23 further comprising an electrically conductive shield at least partially covering the plurality of wafer assemblies.

All references and publications cited herein are expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entirety into this disclosure, except to the extent they may directly contradict this disclosure. Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that a variety of alternate and/or equivalent implementations can be substituted for the specific embodiments shown and described without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the specific embodiments discussed herein. Therefore, it is intended that this disclosure be limited only by the claims and the equivalents thereof. The disclosed embodiments are presented for purposes of illustration and not limitation.