This section provides an overview for expansion boards as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 3 expansion board manufacturers and their company rankings.
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An expansion board is a board that is connected to a PC or CPU board to achieve new or enhanced functionality.
An expansion board is also sometimes referred to as boards that are added for the same reason as the main board, on which the one-chip microcontroller to be incorporated into the device is mounted.
Since the specifications of commercially available PCs and CPU boards are determined according to the general needs of the world, there are cases in which the functions provided are not sufficient to meet the needs of users who want to use the board in ways that go beyond those specifications.
An expansion board is useful in such cases.
Expansion boards used in PCs and CPU boards are plugged directly into the motherboard on which the CPU is mounted.
Traditionally, the PCI bus was used as the interface on the motherboard, but nowadays, this interface has been switched to PCI express, a faster bus interface.
Expansion boards come in a wide variety of types, including I/O boards for I/O expansion, LAN boards for Ethernet connectivity, USB expansion boards for additional USB ports, graphics boards for faster graphics performance, sound boards for enhanced audio output, and even TV tuner boards for receiving TV broadcasts on a PC.
Only desktop PCs have a PCI bus or PCI express as an open slot on the motherboard for connecting expansion boards. Notebook PCs basically cannot be fitted with expansion boards because it is physically difficult to provide this slot.
Expansion boards are not useful for hardware alone. With the exception of generic USB expansion boards, device drivers and, depending on the expansion boards, utility applications must also be used in pairs.
Features of expansion boards are described below.
The most commonly used expansion boards are the USB expansion boards. At the time of purchase, the USB ports equipped on PCs are generally of a standard size, known as TYPE-A.
However, since there is a limit to the number of ports, connecting various peripheral devices via USB ports may result in a shortage, so there is a use of further expanding TYPE-A with an expansion boards.
In addition, the TYPE-C USB connector is often used these days. This type of connector can be plugged in either the up or down orientation and is compact, making it a popular choice. Sometimes an expansion boards are used to provide this TPY-C.
The next special expansion boards are is the IO expansion boards. Depending on the product, this type of expansion boards acquires analog information such as ambient temperature and humidity, converts it to A/D, and then inputs it to the CPU.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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