CeBIT: First Look at ExpressCard

PCMCIA, the expansion card format that was hard enough to spell, never mind configure, has a successor and it’s being shown at CeBIT.

PCMCIA was good for a while, but is showing its age – it’s pre USB, pre-Firewire and harks back to the days before even Windows 95. A replacement is on the way: the ExpressCard. It’s smaller, has a faster bus, uses less power and supports plug-and-play auto-configuration. Their bus is based on PCI Express and USB2.0 architecture – hence the hot-swap feature.

The new modules are half the size of their predecessors – they come in 34mm and 54mm formats and are a mere 5mm thick.

Look out for ExpressCards appearing towards the end of 2004 – compliant cards will feature an orange rabbit (obviously representing mobility and speed).The Express Card standard

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?