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Expansion technology contracts

PC Card makers plan smaller, faster card

Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA), the group behind PC Cards, is working on a new specification for smaller, faster and cheaper expansion cards.

The specification is slated for release later this year and the first products supporting it should be out in the second half of 2004, PCMCIA said in a statement released at Intel Spring Developer Forum in San Jose, California.

The expansion card, codenamed Newcard, is meant for both desktop and mobile computers, so users can buy one card for both systems. For notebooks in particular, the smaller card will allow sleeker computer designs.

Backers of the specification include computer makers Dell and Hewlett Packard, software vendor Microsoft, memory specialist Lexar Media and chip giant Intel. All are PCMCIA members.

Also working on the new specification with PCMCIA are the USB (universal serial bus) Implementers Forum and the PCI-SIG (peripheral component interconnect special interest group.) The specification will support the USB 2.0 and PCI Express serial I/O (input/output) technologies. It is the first time that the three industry organisations have teamed up to create and promote a specification.

PC Cards today are mostly used on portable computers. Popular applications for the credit card-sized cards are WLAN (wireless LAN) adaptors, wireless modems and memory card readers.


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