If you have a look at any notebook computer you’ll find at least two slots on the side, called “PC Card” slots. They used to be called PCMCIA slots. These slots are used to add hardware such as modems, memory, network adapters and other things to a notebook computer.
This month look for a new type of card and accompanying slot to be released, ExpressCard.
The current PC Card will still be around for another few years, but newer notebooks will start to come with two slots, one for the ExpressCard and one for the PC Card.
USA Today writes More than twice as fast as existing cards, and half the size, new ExpressCards will sport an orange rabbit logo and are aimed at adding features such as high-definition TV broadcast viewing and speedy backup storage to notebooks.
Down the road, ExpressCard backers including Microsoft, Intel and Dell, envision the technology moving to desktop PCs, eliminating the need to pop open computer cases to install hardware upgrades.
Designed to be the standard add-on cards for the next 10 years, ExpressCard nevertheless faces hurdles, including the lack of an obvious “killer app” to drive adoption, which is expected to begin this month with the launch of a new Intel chip that supports the slots.
In the 1990s, before modems and ethernet network adapters were integrated inside of laptops, corporate users purchased PC cards in droves for those applications. This time around, non-business applications, like add-on memory cards and TV tuners, are expected to lead the way.