PCMCIA developed the ExpressCard standard to carry forward the benefits of 'plug-in' I/O cards to the next generation of personal computing devices.
- A Smaller & Faster PC Card Solution
- Suitable for Mobile and Desktop Systems
- Supports USB 2.0 and PCI Express* Applications
- Lower System and Card Complexity
The ExpressCard standard includes two module sizes, both smaller than today's CardBus cards. The ExpressCard/34 module, is almost half the size of a CardBus card. This size is well suited to a very broad range of applications covering communications, media, and general purpose add-ins. The standard also specifies a wider card called an ExpressCard/54 module. This larger module is to support those technologies which require a physically larger module. Devices such as smartcard readers, CompactFlash adapters, and 1.8" hard drives will be seen in this size module.
The ExpressCard standard supports both the USB 2.0 and PCI Express interfaces. Card manufacturers are able to choose whichever bus is appropriate to their application; the performance of PCI Express, or from the wide range of solutions supported by USB. All host PC ExpressCard slots will support cards using either interface. The host platform no longer needs to incorporate a bridge chip between the chipset and the socket. PCI Express and USB 2.0 are also fully hot-pluggable.
PCI Express mini-card
The primary differences between a PCI Express add-in card and a PCI Express Mini Card add-in card is a unique card form factor optimized for mobile computing platforms and a card-system interconnection optimized for communication applications. Specifically, PCI Express Mini Card add-in cards are smaller and have smaller connectors than PCI Express add-in cards.
This applies to: