computer hardware, consumer electronics, electronic components  

Ribbon cable

Electrical cables in a variety of configurations have been available for an extended period of time. One of those varieties is ribbon cable. Ribbon cables are flat, flexible cables containing a plurality of electrical wires that are aligned in a row. Ribbon cable is commonly used to interconnect computer motherboards with other components within a computer system and it can also be used to interconnect personal computers to other devices in a network. One typical application is to use ribbon cable to interconnect component devices that are linked in a SCSI interface network. Ribbon cable is comprised of a plurality of conductors that are positioned so as to be coplanar. The conductors are typically embedded within insulation material that provides some protection to the conductors of the ribbon cable. Fat ribbon cables are constructed to have a plurality of spaced-apart conductors, with a common dielectric insulating jacket surrounding the conductors and filling the spaces therebetween to form webs of insulation material. In ribbon cable, a plurality of conductors are disposed side by side to yield a cable with a roughly rectangular cross-section as opposed to the round cross-section of ordinary cables. The rectangular cross-section permits the use of the ribbon cable in applications where one or two dimensions are constrained. A standard ribbon cable connector includes a plurality of female slots that are arranged in the same predetermined pattern as the pins or teeth on the hardware device. The pin slots are sized to slidingly receive the pins on the hardware device. Electrical connectors on the ends of flat ribbon cables and on printed circuit boards are mated to permit communication of signals within the system. Signals containing large amounts of data are rapidly transmitted through the ribbon cable and the electrical connector assemblies joining the cable to system components.


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