Electronic Design

ExpressCard Replaces PCMCIA

ExpressCard is a smaller and faster version of the venerable PCMCIA card that's found on most laptops (see "ExpressCard: Changing The Face Of Computing," Nov. 24, 2003, p. 64; ED Online 6608). The ExpressCard standard incorporates two high-speed serial bus technologies: 1x PCI Express and USB 2.0.

Most PCI Express cards will use one or the other. As with PCMCIA, ExpressCards will address a range of functions, from storage to peripheral interfaces. The small-form-factor version of ExpressCard has the potential to replace the USB flash drives. This will take years, though, just as it took years to get enough USB sockets to make the USB flash drives a practical alternative to floppy disks.

ExpressCard's form factor is large enough for a compact hard drive. Thus, it becomes an intriguing choice for removable storage.

The seeds of success for ExpressCard have been planted. It remains to be seen how they will grow.

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