What is an Expansion Card?
An expansion card is also called an add-on card, or an adapter card is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) on the motherboard and fixed into an expansion slot. An expansion card gives some extra features to the computer by inserting graphics cards.
The expansion card is an electronic device with edge connectors that is used to create a link from the card to the motherboard, which helps communicate within them. The expansion card consists of copper-plated contacts from the edge connector that gets into an expansion slot.
The main parts of an expansion card include Internal connectors, External connectors, PCB, Electronic components, Edge connectors, and mounting or support brackets.
Daughter board is another name for an expansion card are sometimes used in computers for permitting the expansion cards to fit in parallel position to the motherboard and keep up a small form factor. The expansion cards are also called as riser cards or risers.
Daughterboards are also used to extend the basic functionality of an electronic device, like when we add some extra features to an existing model then it can be released as a new or separate model again. One more use of expansion card is by connecting the card on the mainboard we can reuse rather than building the model again from crash.
Using an Expansion card as intermediate
Expansion cards connect the external devices to the mounting plate or the fastener with the help of mountable sockets or through required connectors. The expansion card helps to improve the functionality and quality of the end users within their budget.
Types of expansion cards
1) Interface card
- ATA: Advanced Technology Attachment is an interface that connects a computer's storage devices like hard drives and CD-ROM drives. Firstly, ATA used to do parallel communication; hence it is called Parallel ATA, shorthanded as "PATA". Later on, use the SATA in place of ATA. The SATA does quicker I/O transfers.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless technology used in telecommunications and computing within a short range for exchanging information. Use Bluetooth in computers, laptops, mobile phones, keyboards, mouse within a small area.
- EIDE: Enhanced IDE is an upgrade of Integrated drive electronics, i.e., IDE. EIDE is an interface that behaves as an interface between the computer and storage device and supports high data rates. EIDE is also known as Fast ATA or parallel ATA.
- Firewire: Firewire, also called IEEE 1394, is one of the most standard connection cables used in cameras, printers, and hardware connected externally to computers. Firewire supports a bandwidth of 400-800 Mbps.
- IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics is the full form of IDE. IDE is also known as ATA and PATA. IDE is also a standard for connecting hard drives to the motherboard.
- Parallel: Parallel in a computer means doing operations simultaneously on different hardware units.
- RAID: RAID is used in high-performance computers. RAID gives the physical disk drives as logical units for the computer. A redundant Array of Independent disks controls the disk drives.
- SCSI: A small Computer System Interface is an interface for disk drives. SCSI is mostly present in the motherboards. SCSI is used in parallel interfaces, which transmit 8 bits of data per second. SCSI was first developed for Apple and Unix computers, which are also used in PCs. SCSI is replaced in today's computing world by SATA connectors.
- Serial: The serial is opposite to parallel. In computing terms, serial represents transmitting data one after the other byte in a series manner.
- USB: Universal serial buses that connect devices, computers, and laptops contain USB ports through which we can connect the keyboard, mouse, and many drives. Mobile phone charging adapters also contain the USB port through which the charger is connected to the mobile for charging.
The musical Instrument's Digital Interface is a particular signature for transmitting the sounds. These sounds are transmitted and played by a computer or hardware device.
When a computer or hardware plays the sound, its quality depends on the device's ability. Older computers have sound cards with MIDI port, which is useful in musical instrumental devices for connecting the computer to the MIDI keyboard.
The user can buy the USB to MIDI converter cable when the computer or laptop does not have a MIDI port. The extension of the MIDI file is ".mid".
The modem is one of the hardware devices used to link the computer or router to a network. This network is usually a broadband network.
The modem sends and receives the data through telephone lines. A cable modem is one of the examples of a modem.
A hardware device forwarding and receiving information from a telephone line is called a modem.
There are three types of modems. They are:
- Internal Modem: The internal modemin an older computer connects to an ISA port, and it connects to a PCI port in the new version.
- External Modem: External modem is a modem that connects to a computer externally by a serial or USB port.
- Removable Modem: The modems are mostly present in olden days laptops with a PCMCIA slot. The removable modem can be plugged in or out as required.
4) MPEG decoder
The full form of MPEG, Moving Pictures Expert Group, is used as a codec that displays video and DVD files.
The versions of MPEG are MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-7, MPEG-21.
5) Network Card
A network card full form is Network Interface Card(NIC), which is also called an Ethernet card or Network adapter. The card connects the network by an ethernet cable using an RJ-45 connector.
These network cards send and receive information through a network switch over the network and when the computers are linked directly. But the computers with network cards are connected to a different network and use a router for transmitting the network packets.
6) Sound Card
The sound card is a type of expansion card also called a soundboard or audio card, the sound card produces a sound that we can hear by speakers or headphones when connected to a computer. The sound card provides ports for connecting various devices, such as microphones, loudspeakers, headphones, and tape recorders.
7) Tuner Card
A tuner card is a device that connects a television cable signal to a computer through a coaxial or RCA connection. The tuner card can be an internal or external device, and the internal tuner card connects to a PCI port and the external tuner card to a USB port.
When used in the computer, Tuner cards turn into a DVR machine, which records TV shows. We can record and view the TV with less-priced tuner cards, whereas high-cost tuner cards do the recording in higher quality.
8) Video Capture Card
A video capture card connects the camera or video-capturing device to a computer or any other device. After capturing the video, the video-capturing device stores it in the device to which it is connected (for example, a computer). Then, the user can view and modify the video as required. Video-capturing devices can be internal (you can install them on your device) or external devices.
9) Video Card
A video card, also known as a video board or graphics card, is a kind of expansion card connected to a motherboard.
The video card is used to make pictures and display them. The page and display will not be visible if a video card is not present. Game developers and players mostly use video cards because it has more processing power and video RAM.
The computers and laptops only have some expansion cards, but we can insert them according to the requirements and usage. Expansion cards have been a helpful solution in several use cases when the user needs more customized computing solutions for specific company requirements.