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Molex Unveils KickStart Connector System: OCP-Compliant Boot-Drive Solution


  • Single, standardized cable assembly provides common hardware solution that combines power, plus low- and high-speed signals, to simplify server designs 
  • Flexible, easy-to-implement interconnectivity solution replaces multiple components and reduces need to manage multiple cables 
  • Low-profile design and mechanical structure aligned with Molex’s OCP-recommended, NearStack PCIe to optimize space, reduce risk and speed time to market

LISLE, IL – October 17, 2023 – Molex, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, has expanded its array of solutions recommended by the Open Compute Project (OCP) with the introduction of the KickStart Connector System. An innovative, all-in-one system, KickStart is the first OCP-compliant solution that combines low-speed and high-speed signals, as well as power circuits, into a single cable assembly. This complete system eliminates the need for multiple components, optimizes space and accelerates upgrades by offering server and device manufacturers a flexible, standardized and easy-to-implement approach for boot-drive peripheral connections.

The KickStart Connector System reinforces our goal to remove complexity and drive increased standardization in modern data centers.

Bill Wilson, New Product Development Manager for Datacom & Specialty Solutions, Molex

The availability of this OCP-compliant solution reduces risk for customers, alleviates their burden of validating separate solutions and provides a faster, simpler path to critical data center server upgrades.

Premium 3D Inspection Solutions Sponsor | Koh Young

Bill Wilson

Modular Building Blocks for Next-Gen Data Centers

The integrated signal and power system is a standardized Small Form Factor (SFF) TA-1036 cable assembly that complies with OCP’s Data Center Modular Hardware System (DC-MHS) specification. Developed in collaboration with members of OCP, KickStart is recommended in OCP’s M-PIC specification for cable-optimized, boot-peripheral connectors.

As the only OCP-recommended internal I/O connectivity solution for boot-drive applications, KickStart empowers customers to address evolving storage-signal speeds. The system accommodates PCIe Gen 5 signal speeds, with data transfer rates up to 32 Gbps NRZ. Planned support for PCIe Gen 6 will meet demands for ever-increasing bandwidth requirements. 

Moreover, KickStart is aligned with the form factor and robust mechanical structure of Molex’s award-winning, OCP-recommended NearStack PCIe Connector System, which offers the lowest mated profile height of 11.10mm for improved space optimization, increased airflow management and reduced interference with other components. The new connector system also allows for simple, hybrid cable assembly pinout from KickStart connectors to Sliver 1C for Enterprise and Data Center Standard Form Factor (EDSFF) hard-drive docking. Support for hybrid cables further simplifies integration with servers, storage and other peripheral devices while easing hardware upgrades and modularization strategies.  

Unified Standards Bolster Product Performance, Reduce Supply Chain Constraints

Ideally suited for OCP servers, data centers, white box servers and storage systems, KickStart reduces the need for multiple interconnect solutions while expediting product development.  Designed to support both current and evolving signal speeds and power requirements, Molex’s data-center product development team collaborated with the company’s power engineering group to optimize power-contact design, thermal simulation and power dissipation. As with all Molex interconnectivity solutions, KickStart is backed by world-class engineering, volume manufacturing and global supply chain capabilities.

Product Availability

Samples of the KickStart Connector System are available for evaluation.

Open Compute Project Global Summit 2023   

  • Visit Molex at Booth B1 for a complete product showcase of the latest OCP-recommended and OCP-compliant connectivity solutions, including KickStart.   
  • See how Molex is paving the way for the next-gen OCP rack standard with a demo featuring Molex IT gear, power-shelf harnesses and Busbar along with 224G solutions with cabled backplane, CX2 Dual Speed, Inception, Mirror Mezz Enhanced and more.
  • Attend informative sessions on industry collaborations and developments driving technology advancements, including:
    • Partnership to Enable Copper for the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Computing—Joint presentation with Nvidia, October 19, 3:20pm, CXL Forum, SJCC – Lower Level – LL20BC
    • Thermal Characterization of High-Power Pluggable IO Transceivers—Joint presentation with Cisco, October 18, 9:40 AM, SJC Concourse Level, 210AE
    • Reliability and Material Compatibility: Evaluation of High-Power Interconnects for Single-Phase Immersion Cooling—October 19, 10:30 AM, SJCC Concourse Level, 220C

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