IDC is short for Insulation-Displacement Connector. These electrical connectors are designed for ribbon cables and telecommunications applications. They are also referred to as insulation-piercing contacts (IPCs).
Flat Ribbon Cable Assemblies
IDC connectors are most commonly used with Flat Ribbon Cables to create a cable assembly. Ribbon cables consist of multiple wires connected together in a thin, flat ribbon. The IDC connector has sharp contact points which pierce the insulation and make contact with the wire. They are quick and easy as you do not need to strip shrouded wires like conventional crimping methods. IDCs are an ideal ribbon cable termination.
IDC Connectors use cold welding technology. The IDC connector terminal pushes down and cuts through the insulation of the wire. During this process, there is significant pressure applied which create this cold weld. Some IDC connectors also come with strain relief functionality which helps to protect the ribbon cable connection and improve life span and reliability.
Things to consider when purchasing an IDC:
Number of Contacts - IDC's are available with different numbers of pins or connections. For example, 4-way and 10-way. Note: the pins may be across multiple rows.
Gender - IDC's can come in a male version, also known as a plug, or female version, also known as a socket or header.
Pitch - This refers to the distance between each contact. For example, 1.2 mm. This needs to be compatible with the ribbon connector you wish to connect.
Mounting Type - IDC plugs and sockets are usually mounted onto a cable or a PCB as a header.
RITS (remote I/O terminal system) connectors are a type of printed circuit board connector that allows you to easily make connections using a generic tool and connector. The advantage of RITS connectors is that they save you a lot of time and effort, as other connections require greater precision and may need more preparation, such as stripping the wires before they can be connected.