Boards or extension cards are printed circuit boards equipped with electronic components. They are equipped with a connector strip and extend the functionality of personalcomputers, laptops or notebooks.
Plug-in cards are inserted into the slots provided for this purpose in the basic devices and take over special or extend the range of functions, memory capacity, computing power, communication options, audio processing or the graphic display options of the basic devices.
Plug-in cards come in a variety of dimensions with different connector strip arrangements, pin assignments, supply voltages and signal specifications, which is expressed in their form factors. Classic plug-in cards include gafic cards, sound cards, video cards, adapter cards and network cards. The decisive factors for the use of plug-in cards in personal computers, mobile computers or mainframes are the bus systems and interfaces used. For example, the following interfaces are used in PC technology: the Industry Standard Architecture( ISA) and the Extended Industry Standard Architecture ( EISA), the Microchannel Architecture( MCA), the Peripheral Component Interconnect( PCI) and PCI-Express( PCIe) and the AudioModem Riser( AMR), to name just a few.
In addition to the plug-in cards for personal computers, there is a whole range of other standardized plug-in card formats such as the Eurocard or PCI Extension for Instrumentation( PXI) for metrology applications.