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Story 020 – 1990 – Products

Engine rooms of digitalization

Wieland's high performance alloy K55 for secure connections

The worldwide demand for storage space and thus for server units is increasing exponentially. The units are connected on the rear sides with connectors (backplane connectors). Numerous manufacturers rely on the high-performance alloy K55 from Wieland.

Uploading and downloading huge amounts of data has long since become a matter of course in everyday life. Very few people realize that all this data is physically stored somewhere - in gigantic server farms with thousands of computers. This is why additional, even larger server centers are constantly emerging, especially in the USA and China, but also in Europe, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries. No wonder, since the rapidly advancing digitalization - think of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) - requires enormous storage capacities. It is estimated that between 2016 and 2021 the worldwide storage demand will have tripled to over 20 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a 1 with 21 zeros!)

The decisive factor for the provision of ever larger storage volumes is the interconnection of many server units and thus the scalability of the server centres. This is made possible by so-called backplanes, which network different modules such as server units, storage units, switches and router units with each other using connectors.

The connectors are passive parts without electronic components. Nevertheless, the requirements placed on the backplanes are high: they must guarantee mechanically secure connections by means of spring force and have good electrical conductivity. This is combined with a high thermal resistance because of the high operating temperatures occurring in the servers.

Numerous manufacturers of backplanes therefore rely on Wieland strip rolled from the precipitation-hardened high-performance alloy K55. Developed especially for this application, it meets the high requirements for formability, conductivity and thermal stability in consistently high quality. In view of the increasing demand, Wieland will therefore play an inconspicuous but nevertheless important role in the advancing networking of the world.

Numerous backplane connectors on the backs of the server units ensure the networking and scalability of the systems.