Physical Requirements

Besides holding the essential circuitry of a computer, the motherboard of a computer must accommodate some form of expansion. In desktop computers, the motherboard is home to special electrical jacks called expansion connectors that allow you to plug in additional printed circuit boards. The space potentially occupied by an expansion board is an expansion slot, usually referred to simply as a slot.

Notebook computers and their ilk also incorporate expansion boards but in a different form. A protective shell, usually sheathed with aluminum, encases their circuit boards to make a near monolithic assembly that's termed a PCMCIA card or PC Card. PCMCIA stands for the organization that sets the standard for these cards, the Personal ...

Get Winn L. Rosch Hardware Bible, Sixth Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.