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PCMCIA release CardBay spec

Mar 27, 2001 at 04:00 GMT

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association), the international standards body and trade association for the modular peripherals industry, have released the specification for the next generation of PC card slot technology, it is based on the USB 2.0 interface and forms part of the PC Card Standard Release 8.0.

PCMCIA RELEASES NEW CARDBAY STANDARD FOR USB 'PLUG-N-PLAY' COMPATIBILITY IN MOBILE DEVICES
MICROSOFT, COMPAQ, INTEL, TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, 3COM AND SCM MICROSYSTEMS SUPPORT NEW STANDARD THAT BRINGS HIGH-SPEED SERIAL PERFORMANCE TO PC CARD SLOT

HANNOVER, GERMANY [CeBIT 2001], March 22, 2001 -- PCMCIA, an international standards body and trade association for the modular peripheral industry, today announced the release of CardBay(tm), the fourth-generation standard for PC Card technology. The new CardBay PC Card standard incorporates the popular Universal Serial Bus (USB) into the PC Card format widely embraced by today's mobile device developers. Just like CardBus and the original 16-bit PC Card standards, CardBay enables plug-in functions to become tightly integrated within a mobile device, such as a notebook computer or PDA.
Available at www.pcmcia.org, the new specification is supported by operating system vendor Microsoft Corp.; notebook manufacturer Compaq Computer; card vendors SCM Microsystems, 3Com and Xircom®, an Intel® company; semiconductor maker Texas Instruments; and connector vendors FCI Electronics and Tyco (AMP). Potential uses of CardBay include USB-based advanced wired and wireless modems; security devices for fast, secure encryption/decryption and authentication; and bulk memory devices, such as USB-based memory card-to-PC adapters for video cameras and media players.

"The rapid rate of technology evolution demands that mobile systems continue to have an effective means to add in future technologies covering communications, networking and data interchange applications," said Brad Saunders, senior technologist, Xircom, and chairman, PCMCIA. "The mobile device industry has embraced CardBay as the migration path for the most popular add-in card solutions. CardBay enables developers to take advantage of USB's plug-and-play technology while retaining the benefit of the PC Card's modular form."

"The CardBay standard opens up the door to cost-effectively integrate USB-based functionality into the entire spectrum of mobile devices," said Patrick Maher, executive director, PCMCIA. "Mobile device users should now have access to the same wealth of high-performance products and applications that desktop users currently enjoy."

The new CardBay standard complements the existing PCI-based CardBus technology by allowing the same connector to bring the popular USB 2.0 serial interface into the PC Card form factor. CardBay supports full backward compatibility to CardBus and legacy PC Cards. CardBay requires no new software support and adds new flexibility in power options. By taking advantage of plug-n-play PC Cards, IT departments can easily add emerging technologies to mobile systems, thus reducing the cost of supporting corporate-standardized mobile system configurations.

The specifications for CardBay are included as part of the PC Card Standard Release 8.0. Future extensions to CardBay are being considered for subsequent updates to the PC Card standard. These include optional support for small-format memory card adapters and the addition of IEEE 1394 High Performance Serial Bus to the interface.

PC Card technology is used in mobile computing platforms ranging from high-performance, full-size notebook computers to ultra-portable specialized-function devices, such as personal organizers and cameras. In addition to CardBay, the PC Card family includes 16-bit PC Cards for mid-performance and legacy applications, as well as 32-bit CardBus PC Cards for high-performance applications.

Click here for PCMCIA press release