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FCI Introduces ExpressCard™ Host Connectors and Slot Systems

ETTERS, Pa. (June 28, 2005) – FCI, a leading developer of connectors and interconnect systems, has developed ExpressCard™ host connectors and slot systems to support implementation of ExpressCard technology in mobile and desktop PCs. The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) has developed the ExpressCard Standard as replacement for the PC Card Standard, which defines the popular CardBus and PC Card add-in cards. The ExpressCard Standard will carry forward the benefits of removable communication, storage, I/O, multimedia, security and adapter cards to new generations of mobile and desktop personal computers.

To provide designers with flexibility in slot placement, FCI offers a number of slot mounting options. Top-mount universal slot systems with “card push” ejection are offered with slot standoff options ranging from 0.0mm (the lowest vertical profile for “thin” host systems) to 2.2mm (providing clearance to mount PCB components between the slot and the host PCB). Options to support slot placement below the host PCB are also available.

The “card push” ejection mechanism eliminates the need for push rods, which can free valuable space for other system components or help designers achieve smaller system form factors. A simplified “grab and pull” slot system is also available for host applications where manual card removal is acceptable.

The 26-position ExpressCard connector system utilizes a simple beam-on-blade contact interface with host connectors rated for up to 5,000 durability cycles. The ExpressCard system supports both USB 2.0 and PCI Express™ high-speed serial interfaces.

“Connector electrical performance has been validated at the initial PCI Express data rate of 2.5 Gb/s and the anticipated second-generation speed of 5.0 Gb/s,” said David Sideck, FCI regional market manager. “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.”

Mobile and desktop host systems can choose to incorporate universal slots, which can accommodate either ExpressCard/34 or ExpressCard/54 module sizes, or 34mm-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 applications as varied as set top boxes, home entertainment devices, industrial PCs, machine control systems, instruments for test and measurement, and medical electronics.

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 assure the interoperability and intermate-ability of ExpressCard connectors used in host systems and module products. 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 to facilitate easy soldering and inspection.

Typical host connector prices are $0.76 each at 2,000-piece order quantities. Samples are available for delivery, with production lead times from stock to eight weeks.

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