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ExpressCard, formerly NEWCARD,[1] is an interface to connect peripheral devices to a computer, usually a laptop. The ExpressCard technical standard specifies the design of slots built into the computer and of expansion cards to insert in the slots. The cards contain electronic circuits and sometimes connectors for external devices. The ExpressCard standard replaced PC Card and CardBus (also known as PCMCIA) standards.


Originally developed by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA), the ExpressCard standard is maintained by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).[2] The host device supports PCI Express, USB 2.0 (including Hi-Speed), and USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed)[3] (ExpressCard 2.0 only) connectivity through the ExpressCard slot; cards can be designed to use any of these modes. The cards are hot-pluggable. The ExpressCard standard is an open standard by ITU-T definition, and can be obtained from the USB-IF website free of charge.[4]

ExpressCards can connect a variety of devices to a computer including mobile broadband modems (sometimes called connect cards), IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectors, USB connectors, Ethernet network ports, Serial ATA storage devices, solid-state drives, external enclosures for desktop-size PCI Express graphics cards and other peripheral devices, wireless network interface controllers (NIC), TV tuner cards, Common Access Card (CAC) readers, and sound cards.

Form factors[]

The ExpressCard standard specifies two form factors, ExpressCard/34 (34 millimetres (1.3 in) wide) and ExpressCard/54 (54 mm (2.1 in) wide, in an L-shape) wide, in an L-shape)—the connector is the same on both (34 mm wide). Standard cards are 75 mm (3.0 in) long (10.6 mm (0.42 in) shorter than CardBus) and 5 mm (0.20 in) thick, but may be thicker on sections that extend outside the standard form for antennae, sockets, etc. With its 75 mm standard length, the ExpressCard will protrude 5 mm over the holder's surface (e.g. laptop surface), whereas a variant with 70 mm length remains level with the surface.

Apple models with ExpressCard/34 support[]


  1. NEWCARD Reborn As 'ExpressCard'. Retrieved on 2009-02-25.
  2. The PCMCIA Association has been dissolved and the San Jose office closed. All activities and Standards, including the ExpressCard Standard and PC Card Standard, will be managed going forward by the USB Implementer's Forum., Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. Archived 2013-02-12.
  3. ExpressCard. Retrieved on 2013-05-09.
  4. ExpressCard specs. Retrieved on 2013-05-09.
  5. PowerBooks with CardBus Support by Daniel Knight, Low End Mac. 2018-04-03.

External links[]

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