Conventional connectors, where the plug and socket have metal parts which touch, suffer from the following problems:
- Limited mating cycles or expensive plating.
- Impedance mismatch (relevant for high speed signals only).
- Lack of isolation.
Here's an obvious solution that would make for a useful Ethernet type connector. Instead of making the metal electrical parts mate, why not make the magnetics mate instead?
The plug would contain the primary windings, and C-shaped cores, while the socket would contain the secondary winding and more C-shaped cores. When the plug and socket mate, the C-shaped cores would touch. The advantage would be that this design doesn't wear out, and completely isolates the PCB.
Do any such connectors already exist? If not, is there some reason they are not used? Might they end up being more expensive? Might they be less reliable?