Etters, Pa. FCI has expanded its ExpressCard offering with the introduction of several host connectors and slot systems to support the implementation of ExpressCard technology in mobile and desktop PCs.
The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) has developed the ExpressCard Standard as a replacement for the PC Card Standard, which defines the CardBus and PC Card add-in cards, for new generations of mobile and desktop personal computers.
The 26-position ExpressCard connector system uses a simple beam-on-blade contact interface with host connectors rated for up to 5,000 cycles .The ExpressCard system supports both USB 2.0 and PCI Express high-speed serial interfaces. The company said connector electrical performance has been validated at the initial PCI Express data rate of 2.5 Gbits/s and the anticipated second-generation speed of 5.0 Gbits/s.
"This will allow our customers to easily evolve their systems to increasing data rates over time, rather than necessitating a transition to a whole new connector system," said David Sideck, FCI regional market manager, in a statement.
Mobile and desktop host systems can incorporate universal slots, which can accommodate either ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 module sizes, or 34 mm-only slots when space is at an absolute premium. Both are smaller than today's CardBus slot implementations. Although the new standard is initially intended for new generations of mobile and desktop personal computers, the ExpressCard host connectors and universal slot systems may also find use in set top boxes, home entertainment devices, industrial PCs, machine control systems, instruments for test and measurement, and medical electronics.
A variety of slot mounting options are available for greater design flexibility. Top-mount universal slot systems with "card push" ejection are offered with slot standoff options ranging from 0.0 mm (the lowest vertical profile for "thin" host systems) to 2.2 mm (providing clearance to mount PC-board components between the slot and the host PCB). Options to support slot placement below the host PC-board are also available.
The "card push" ejection mechanism eliminates the need for push rods, which can free space for other system components or to help achieve smaller system form factors. A simplified "grab and pull" slot system is also available for host applications where manual card removal is acceptable.
FCI host connectors 10030584 and 10056265 have passed the mechanical and performance requirements of the ExpressCard Compliance Program run by PCMCIA. This program is designed to ensure that the ExpressCard connectors used in host systems and module products are interoperable and intermate. The ExpressCard Compliance IDs for these connectors are EC100029 and EC100035, respectively.
The RoHS-compliant connectors also feature a single-row, in-line configuration for surface-mount solder tails for easy soldering and inspection.
Typical host connector prices are $0.76 each in quantities of 2,000-piece. Samples are available, with production lead times from stock to eight weeks.
FCI, 1-800-237-2374, www.fciconnect.com