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Part of a printed circuit board, an edge connector is a part on the edge of the board that is plugged into the matching socket of a device or computer. It usually has broad metallic tracks which are used to output the electrical connection. Edge connectors can provide a fast and secure connection.
Edge connector sockets are comprised of a plastic box which is open on one side and with pins on the inside. The connectors are keyed for polarity so that they are not improperly connected. In most cases, mechanical force needs to be provided to insert the edge connectors into their sockets, although there are some alternatives which make use of zero insertion force.
There are many advantages related to edge connectors. They are cost effective as well as simple, robust and durable. It can be considered a direct extension of the printed circuit board. They are also more reliable to meet performance standards.
However, there are certain drawbacks associated with edge connectors. The direct access to the printed circuit board is not always welcome. Additionally, the contact life of edge connectors are less compared to other alternatives.
Edge connectors are widely used in electronics, especially in personal computers and expansion peripheral technologies.