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Input Devices Hardware

New I/O Standard Bids To Replace Mini PCI Express 31

DeviceGuru writes "LinuxDevices reports that a group of companies today unveiled — and demonstrated products based on — a tiny new PCI Express expansion standard. Although it's somewhat larger than the PCI Express Mini Card, the tiny new 43mm x 65mm FeaturePak card's high density 230-pin edgecard connector provides twice the number of PCI Express and USB 2.0 channels to the host computer, plus 100 lines dedicated to general purpose I/O, of which 34 signal pairs are implemented with enhanced isolation for use in applications such as gigabit Ethernet or high-precision analog I/O. While FeaturePaks will certainly be used in all sorts of embedded devices (medical instruments, test equipment, etc.), the tiny cards could also be used for developing configurable consumer devices, for example to add an embedded firewall/router or security processor to laptop or notebook computers, or for modular functionality in TV set-top-boxes and Internet edge devices." The president of Diamond Systems, which invented the new card, said "Following the FeaturePak initiative's initial launch, we intend to turn the FeaturePak specification, trademark, and logo over to a suitable standards organization so it can become an industry-wide, open-architecture, embedded standard" (but to use the logo you have to join the organization).
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New I/O Standard Bids To Replace Mini PCI Express

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  • Good luck with that (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @02:06AM (#31326936)

    I think PCIe is here to stay just because of its use in the desktop market. It is fast becoming the only standard for desktop components (there are now motherboards with no old style PCI). Ok well the benefit to having a laptop standard the same as the desktop standard is obvious. All the chips work the same, you don't need a new chip design or a bridge chip for the different standards. You just put the stuff in a different package and go.

  • by unitron ( 5733 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @04:50AM (#31327556) Homepage Journal

    Unless I'm reading wrong, this *is* PCI-Express all right, just a different physical interface with an additional (most likely optional) lane and some new, fancy I/O lines.

    But why USB 2.0? That would be a perfect place to include 3.0, wouldn't it?

    Well, first they have to sell as many with 2.0 as they can, and then come up with something that needs 3.0 to work right so that everybody has to buy new ones to replace the 2.0 ones so that they can sell twice as many as they would have otherwise.

    And then it's time to change the physical interface on new products so that when you upgrade anything you can't use either the 2.0 or the 3.0 versions and have to start buying new stuff again. Don't you understand how computers really work? : - )

Friction is a drag.