PCMCIA, the group behind PC Cards, is working on a specification for smaller, faster and cheaper expansion cards.
The specification is due for release later this year, and the first product supporting it should be out in the second half of 2004, PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) said at Intel's Developer Forum in San Jose.
The expansion card, codenamed Newcard, is designed for both desktop and mobile computers, so users can buy one card and use it in both systems. For notebooks in particular, the smaller card will allow sleeker computer designs.
Backers of the specification include PCMCIA members, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, memory specialist Lexar Media and Intel.
Also working on the specification with PCMCIA are the USB Implementers Forum and the PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group). The specification will support the USB 2.0 and PCI Express serial I/O (input/output) technologies. It is the first time that the three industry organisations have teamed up to create and promote a specification.
Exisiting PC Cards are mostly used on portable computers. Popular applications for the credit card-sized cards are WLan adaptors, wireless modems and memory card readers.