U.FL connectors are commonly used in applications where space is of critical concern, most often Mini PCI cards for laptop computers. U.FL connectors are commonly used inside laptops and embedded systems to connect the Wi-Fi antenna to a Mini PCI card. Another common use is connecting GPS antennas.
Female U.FL connectors are not designed with reconnection in mind, and they are only rated for a few reconnects (approximately 30 mating cycles ) before replacement is needed. The female U.FL connectors are generally not sold separately, but rather as part of a pigtail with a high-quality 1.32 mm doubly shielded cable, which allows for a low-loss connection.
The male connectors are surface-mounted and soldered directly to the printed circuit board. They are designed to have a characteristic impedance of 50 ohms. The mated connection is only 2.5 mm high and takes as little as 9 mm2 of board space.
Much like many other electronic components, Hirose U.FL connectors were protected by patents and trademarks. However, compatible connectors are on the market.
Although several companies claim to make U.FL compatibles, quality can vary. All assemblies should be tested to the original U.FL standard.