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PRESS RELEASE: PCMCIA Announces Details of New Compliance Program for ExpressCard Technology, the Hardware Expansion Standard for Desktop and Mobile Systems
ExpressCard Technology Complements Windows Platforms
Seattle (WinHEC 2004) Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - PCMCIA, a leading technology trade association, today announced the details of a new compliance program for its high-performance, I/O ExpressCard™ standard for desktop and notebook computers. The program outlines the complete test requirements that give system and module manufacturers the right to display the ExpressCard logo-an energetic rabbit signifying mobility, fast performance and ease-of-use-on their compliant products. The logo tells consumers that the product meets the standard's stringent criteria and is interoperable with any other ExpressCard module or system.
In addition, PCMCIA has worked with Microsoft to help ensure that Windows will seamlessly support ExpressCard technology. "Microsoft is pleased to be working with PCMCIA to bring the best computing experience to users of Windows," said Tom Phillips, general manager of the Windows Hardware Experience Group at Microsoft Corporation. "Organizations will find that ExpressCard technology continues to complement Windows platforms as another means to improve system performance while making it increasingly easier to add a wide array of functionality."
"The ExpressCard logo is the consumer 'seal of approval' that signals ease of use and compatibility. This compliance program is designed to give both manufacturers and consumers the confidence they need to ensure all ExpressCard-branded products are interoperable when purchased at retailers," said Brad Saunders of Intel Corporation and chairman of the PCMCIA. "We've leveraged the expertise of other associations to develop a streamlined, two-step program that gives manufacturers the means to quickly develop and introduce products built on the standard system interfaces of Universal Serial Bus 2.0 (USB)* and PCI Express.* Products will also be tested against Microsoft Windows platforms."
Press are invited to stop by PCMCIA booth #310 at WinHEC to learn more about the compliance programs and see working ExpressCard engineering sample modules and prototypes that represent a broad spectrum of consumer applications, including flash memory, communications, multimedia and security. An overview of ExpressCard technology is being offered on Tuesday, May 4, at 6:20 pm ET, followed by more in-depth sessions on Thursday, May 6, at 4 pm and 5:15 pm ET.
Based on the successful USB compliance program, the multi-step compliance process assures interoperability between ExpressCard modules and systems. The first phase features self-testing, where manufacturers can verify product compatibility against an approved checklist. Later this year, PCMCIA-sponsored plugfests will be scheduled in conjunction with USB and PCI Express events for formal module and system testing. As an alternative, manufacturers can have their products tested by certified test houses. All compliant products will be listed in a resource directory at www.expresscard.org and companies will be able to use the logo in the marketing of the product. Program participation is limited to PCMCIA members.
The ExpressCard standard (www.expresscard.org) is the next generation of PC Card technology used in more than 95 percent of all notebook computers for adding new hardware capabilities. The standard supports 'all modules in all slots,' enabling users to move modules between desktop and mobile systems. ExpressCard products also support the sealed-box expandability expected in future desktop systems, eliminating the need to open the chassis to add new features. ExpressCard technology is expected to replace CardBus, the current standard for PC Cards.
The ExpressCard standard requires PCI Express architecture or USB 2.0 compliance. ExpressCard modules feature two form factors: 34 mm and 54 mm (by 75 mm x 5 mm). Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Lexar Media, Microsoft, SCM Microsystems and Texas Instruments are among those supporting development of the new standard under the PCMCIA umbrella. ExpressCard products are expected to become generally available starting in late 2004.
PCMCIA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1989 to establish technical standards for PC Card technology and to promote interchangeability among computer systems. Already a feature in almost every notebook and palmtop computer, PC Card technology empowers users to configure systems and create unique, integrated solutions to meet their computing needs. Based in San Jose, California, the association has a growing membership of 125 companies worldwide. The PCMCIA also has a specification development and co-publishing relationship with the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) covering PC Card and Smart Media technologies.
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ExpressCard is a trademark of PCMCIA. *All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.
(First posted on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 at 23:04 EDT)