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What Is an Expansion Board?

What Is an Expansion Board?

  • Friday, 07 June 2024
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What Is an Expansion Board?

An expansion board is a printed circuit board (PCB) that you can insert into an expansion slot on the motherboard of a computer or other electronic device to add more connectors. These additional connections can allow the computer or device to perform extra tasks that it could not do without the expansion card. Expansion cards are most commonly found in computers, but they can also be used with other devices that have expansion slots, such as printers and some digital recorders.

Typically, the expansion card has multiple connectors that are designed to plug into different types of ports or sockets on the motherboard. Each connection type is designed to connect with a specific expansion slot and has its own specific pin header that establishes an electrical contact between the card and the motherboard. For example, PC-compatible expansion cards typically have a pin header that connects to the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slot on the computer's motherboard.

Many different kinds of expansion cards are available, depending on the purpose and functionality you require. Some common examples include sound cards, graphics cards, and network adapters. Some expansion cards can be installed in a single expansion slot, while others can be added to a stack of expansion boards to increase the number of available connections.

In addition to a variety of different expansion connectors, many expansion cards have additional features that can be useful in particular applications. For instance, a graphics card may provide extra processing power for graphics-intensive programs, while a network adapter can add increased bandwidth to a computer's internet connection.

Using an expansion board is usually the best way to upgrade a computer's capabilities. However, there are also some exceptions. Some older expansion cards have connectors that are not compatible with newer motherboards, which can be a problem if you try to use an old expansion card in a modern system.

The nRF7002 Expansion Board connects with a PCB edge connector to the Thingy:53's expansion slot and uses the Thingy's nRF5340 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) as a host device for the nRF7002 Wi-Fi Companion IC. This allows you to develop wireless protocols for the Thingy:53 that take advantage of the nRF7002's advanced capabilities, including low-power operation, OFDMA, and Beamforming.

A CANbus expansion board is a great way to add extra relays to your CANbus system. This is especially useful if you are controlling high voltage devices such as chargers or load controllers that need to be switched on remotely.

Adding an expansion board is the easiest way to add more outputs to your WatchMon or CMU CANbus system. These can be connected to external switches to control fans, heaters, or other equipment. Some expansion boards even have CANbus inputs that can be used to communicate with a power management unit (PMU) or circuit breaker.

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