What are U.FL Connectors?

What are U.FL Connectors? Who makes them? When do we use them?

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- everything RF

May 1, 2021

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U.FL Connectors are miniature surface-mount RF coaxial connectors developed by the Hirose Electric Group. These connectors offer high-frequency performance from DC to 6 GHz and are ideal for use in a wide range of miniature devices that require a compact connector solution. They have a characteristic impedance of 50 ohms.

Note: U.FL connectors from the Hirose Electric Group are similar to and compatible with other miniature surface-mount RF coaxial connectors developed by I-PEX (MHF Connectors) and Amphenol (AMC Connectors).

The U.FL connectors are low profile connectors with a height from the board after mating a receptacle with a plug of less than 2.5 mm, and a mounting area of 3.0 × 3.1 mm. The U.FL male connectors are surface-mounted and soldered directly to the printed circuit board. The female U.FL connectors are usually a part of high-quality 1.32 mm doubly shielded cable, which allows for a low-loss connection.

Use cases include smartphones, Laptop WiFi cards. They can also be used inside laptops and embedded systems in order to connect the Wi-Fi antenna to a Mini PCI, Mini PCIe or M.2 WiFi card. Another area of application is connecting GPS antennas.

They have been designed for limited mating cycles (usually up to 30) before replacement is needed.

Key Features of Hirose U.FL Connectors:

  • Packaged on tape-and-reel, the embossed tape packaging specification of the receptacles permits automatic mounting. The receptacles can be placed with vacuum nozzles of the automatic-placement equipment.
  • Plugs are terminated with ultra-fine coaxial cable with 1.37, 1.32, 1.13, 0.95, 0.81 mm options. These are the world’s lightest coaxial connectors.
  • A wide variety of conversion adapters are available for this series - plug insertion/extraction tools, adapter for inspection and internal wiring, and SMA, MMCX, and TNC connectors for U.FL back end connections are available.
  • Tactile Mating - They have a ‘click’ sensation that confirms a fully mated condition.
  • Simple Removal of Connectors - Usage of proper extraction tools ensures proper disconnection of the plug and receptacle.