The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association is working on a replacement for its PC Card/Cardbus form factor. In addition to being smaller, faster, and cheaper, the PCMCIA is working with other standards bodies to assure that the new format is compatible with USB 2.0 and PCI Express serial input/output technologies. The new standard is primarily for laptops, but this article in PC World mentions that it is also being intended for desktop use.
PCMCIA Working on Smaller, Cheaper, Faster Card Standard
2003-02-24 Hardware 6 Comments
IMHO this more or less a dead technology. Most laptops have, networking built in. USB, and FireWire have replaced the need to have a SCSI PC Card for portable hard drives. The cost of a USB muliple format card reader is $30 – $70. BlueTooth can be added to most notebooks with a USB bluetooth adapter that looks like one of those USB keychain drives. The only thing left is WiFi, which if the rest of the industry follows Apple, they should have that built into the laptop within the next year or two.
I think that PC Laptop Mfrs. would be better of dropping floppies, and PC cardslots, and replacing them with either a second hard drive, battery or CPU.
You forgot the whole reason for card slots. Their there for future things. You don’t know what might come out in the future. Whatever it is it’s sure not built into your laptop now. Say they come out with say LowJack for laptops, you are going to need a card slot. Or things now that arn’t built in such as GPS. The other benifit is you don’t have external things. Such you could use a USB to something adaptor but then you have a anoying dangly thing. People want to be able to shove something in the machine and go like they did before. There will always be new things for laptops, they will always start in slots, sames for Desktops. Only after that phase does stuff get built in. With out expandability you need to keap getting a new machince more often.
Can’t say I agree with that; there will always be a need for a bus interface, but maybe on low-end laptops they could phase it out. This new standard is a little weird and sketchy at this time; I’d like more info on backwards-compatibility and why they chose USB 2.0 (not a fan, myself). It certainly is time for a new PC-card standard, though, and PCI Express needs to be implemented.
Can you please elaborate on why you think it’s “certainly[…] time for for a new PC-card standard”? Just new for the sake of new, or some technical limitation of the current standard?
ISA – PCMCIA
PCI – CardBus
PCI Express – New standard
We need a new bus standard. Gigabit ethernet surpasses PCI32 and the 2.1 64bit PCI is poorly implemented.
As a HW developer thats worked on such things, I think its an excellent idea. If I understand it right, I would hope thats it is really just a USB2 hub & port device in a fixed package spec that might look a little like the Smartmedia with a slim edge connector.
Having a bunch of USB2 devices that can live in a recessed compartment makes alot more sense than bits & pieces hanging off of cables withs loads of power bricks and a hub. If the interface is just USB2, then no special drivers need to be written either and such a compartment can also be added to PC frontpanels also. Ofcourse if the device is just a bridge say USB to Ethernet, then we still have a cables coming out but..
Since these ports are 1 use per device, this would be a good way to get rid of most PCI cards once & for all and allow much smaller cases. Even today, most PC cases are way too big, meant to handle full size/length PCI boards that are 10x bigger than what most small PCI modules actually need. With this type of spec, PCs & laptops become much more similar making most of these devices dual use.
For really high bandwidth, adjacent slots could be ganged shotgun style but I could go on..