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What Is an Expansion Board?

What Is an Expansion Board?

  • Sunday, 28 January 2024
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What Is an Expansion Board?

An expansion board is a PCB (printed circuit board) that plugs into an electrical connector, or expansion slot, on a computer motherboard or backplane to perform additional functions or upgrade existing ones.expansion board Depending on their type, these cards add functionality to the system like sound processing, graphic handling or network connection. Most expansion boards connect to the mainboard via a PCI-Express card slot, but some have USB or FireWire connections.

Most modern PCs have expansion slots, though some older models may not.expansion board In desktop computers, these are usually located at the front of the case with a row of holes on either side. Laptops typically do not have these slots, and instead rely on external devices for adding peripheral capability. Expansion cards allow the capabilities and interfaces of a computer to be tailored to the tasks it is designed for, and can often be installed or removed in the field to suit particular requirements.

For example, a high-speed data acquisition card would be of no use in a personal computer used for bookkeeping, but it could be vital in an industrial process control application.expansion board The ability to install and remove these cards allows the system to be adapted quickly to changing needs, or even shut down and restarted without affecting the integrity of any stored data.

Some expansion cards take the form of daughterboards that directly attach to a system board or another card, rather than being fitted into an expansion slot. These are often referred to as mezzanine cards and may be used to increase memory capacities or enable networking capabilities. They are also useful in maintaining a small form factor while still offering expansion capabilities, and are sometimes stackable to offer more flexibility.

Many older cartridge-based video game consoles featured expansion buses that allowed for expansion modules like sound cards and graphics cards to be added. Modern cartridge-based consoles, such as the PlayStation and the Sega Genesis, no longer have an expansion bus but offer expansion ports that can be augmented with a variety of external adapters.

A PCI-Express expansion board is a type of expansion card that provides a higher-speed data link to the mainboard than a standard PCI slot. This allows for faster performance of certain graphics, sound or network cards. PCI-Express is the most popular expansion bus standard, and it can be found in most newer computers. Other types of expansion cards can be installed in a PC, such as a USB hub or an audio receiver. These can be connected to a mainboard or to other PCI-Express expansion cards, such as RAID controllers for storing multiple hard disk drives. They are usually powered by an external power supply and provide power, signaling and ground connections to the motherboard. In some cases, the power supplies on these cards can be overloaded and damage the mainboard or other components. For this reason, it is best to use only the recommended power supply for each expansion card.

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