Subject: PC Card FAQ

[archive copy; latest version is near ... /* was */ ]

Summary: Information about PCMCIA-compatible PC Cards by David Cary <> (updated 1999-03-30) Expires: 1999-05-30

Dear gentle reader:

I apologize for not keeping this up-to-date. Do you think you could do a better job ?

PC_Card_FAQ.txt is posted to alt.periphs.pcmcia, comp.sys.laptops, comp.sys.palmtops, comp.sys.handhelds, pci-sig at, and should be available via .

Subject: 0. Contents

  1. Contents
  2. What is a FAQ ? About this FAQ
  3. Introduction: What is PCMCIA?
  4. What are PC Cards ?
  5. Setting up Hosts / Slots for PC Cards
  6. Setting up PC Card software
  7. Developing PC Card software
  8. Developing PC Cards: Mechanics
  9. Developing PC Cards: Passive Components
  10. Developing PC Cards: electronic chips and kits available
  11. Developing PC Cards: electronic specs
  12. Card Bus
  13. Developing PC Cards: The CIS
  14. Developing Hosts / Slots for PC Cards
  15. On-line Resources
  16. Books
  17. Credits
  18. Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

Subject: 1. About this FAQ.

David Cary designed this FAQ to hold everything PCMCIA and PC Card - related that I know/want to know/have heard rumors about/. I can't possibly guarantee that everything in here is true.

Please contribute answers to the questions marked "???" !

Please do send corrections, (good) questions, suggestions, contributions, (constructive) criticism, clarification of ambiguities, and pointers to (David Cary).

If you have information you think should be here please let me know.

A2: ???

The symbol "???" indicates unknown or incomplete information -- if you can confirm it, please tell me.

Numbers are formatted like US$ 9 999.99 and pronounced "ten thousand American dollars". (I use a dot rather than ISO standard comma for the decimal place marker.)

Online resources (Anonymous ftp sites, HTML documents, etc.) are in standard URL form and should work with all WWW browsers.

Books have _Underlines_ around the title.

I use ISO 8601 standard date notation, to avoid the "Y2K Crisis" around 2000-01-01.

Q: Who said "Good questions are more valuable than good answers" ???

Q: What is a FAQ ?

A: Frequently Asked Questions.

Most Usenet FAQs are available via

--but not this PC Card FAQ.

Q: Should I bother getting this FAQ approved for *.answers and included there ???

Q: Would it be more helpful to you all if David organized this FAQ according to a few major subjects (like it is now) or broke it up into lots of individual questions ?

Q: Why don't you have professional-looking "changes" and "change bars" at the left edge, like those other FAQs ? Something like this:

Changed items are marked with a |.
New items are marked with a +.
Items needing input are marked with a ?.

A: I'm lazy.

Q: Is there a simple utility somewhere that automagically does this???

Posting Frequency: Whenever I Can Get Spare Time(TM).

Subject: 2. Introduction: What is PCMCIA?

The Personal Computer Memory Card Industry Association.
voice: 1.408.433.2273 (1.408.433.CARD ) (was 408.720.0107)
fax: 1.408.433.9558 (was 408.720.9416)
email: <office at>

"Pretty Confusing. May Cause Intense Anxiety" -- Bruce Bennet

"People Cannot Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms." -- Glenn Shaw

"Personal Computer Marketers Can't Invent Acronyms" -- unknown

PCMCIA no longer has a public access BBS. -- Greg Barr, 1996-Jul-15

The PCMCIA publishes the _PCMCIA PC Card Standard_. It contains specifications for the physical, electrical and software aspects of PC Cards and hosts.

Q: So, what's the latest version ?

A1: The latest version I know about is "the February 1995 release of the PC Card Standard (no version number). I just call it the PC Card '95 standard." -- Mike Mori.

A2: The 1995 release of "The PC Card Standard" includes low-power (3.x V), CardBus, and DMA information.

In addition, since then PCMCIA has released Zoomed Video, Flash Translation Layer, and Custom Interface specifications to all registered owers of the PC Card Standard.

For non-members (as of 1996 July 15), it is

US$ 398.00 "The PC Card Standard" CD-ROM or Paper
US$ 549.00 "The PC Card Standard" Paper and CD-ROM Bundle
(This incudes erratas and update notification -- for 1 year ???)
(The price has come down --
was US$ 574.00 CD or Paper
was US$ 814.00 Paper and CD Bundle
-- Greg Barr, 15 Jul 1996

I've heard that the CD-ROM is "Windows only, non-printable".

It's somewhat cheaper (as low as "only" US$ 225.00, Paper and CD Bundle) for members. But then, the lowest level of membership is US$ 1 500.00 / year "PCMCIA Affiliate Membership".

There is no such thing as a "PCMCIA Card".

Greg Barr,
PCMCIA Public Relations Coordinator
PCMCIA * 2635 N. First Street #209 * San Jose, CA * 95134 * USA
The Worldwide Organization for the PC Card Technology
The Official PC-Card Home Page:

Subject: 3. What are PC Cards ?

The hip way to refer to "a card compatible with the JEIDA and PCMCIA PC Card standard" is "a PC Card".

O.K., maybe it's not so cool; in fact, it's downright confusing when you consider that the original IBM PC won't accept a PC Card. The only cards *that* obsolete machine can handle are now called "8-bit ISA cards".

Arthur Zachai <> suggests calling the new PC Cards "P-Cards" to avoid confusion.

Handy guide:

* Same size as a stack of 4 or so credit cards. Smooth, silvery metal on top and bottom. Tiny holes in 2 rows at one end. PC Card.

* Roughly the size of a paperback novel, green, with sharp points on one side and small black creatures with silver legs on the other, and some short gold lines all in a row on both sides near one edge: Definitely not a PC Card. (8-bit ISA cards are the most common, but there's also 16-bit ISA cards, EISA cards, Micro Channel cards, PCI cards,...)

See "On-line Resources" section of this FAQ for pointers to compatibility guides.

The *only* difference between "Type I", "Type II" and "Type III" is the thickness of the card.

In other words, the electronics are identical, and software can't tell the difference.

A "Type I slot" just means that, to save a few pennies, the host manufacturer didn't bother to make the hole big enough for the bigger cards to plug in. (It's also a general hint that the host does not have enough battery power to run the big (relatively) power-eating rotating-disk media that usually come in Type III cards.)

However, several companies sell extender cards and/or external power supplies to let even a fat (relatively), power-guzzling Type III card plug into a narrow and power-stingy Type I slot. (see Slots).

Q: Does anyone know if there are PCMCIA video cards available?

A: Check out AP Research's web site ( -- Oliver Steinmeier <ostein at Xenon.Stanford.EDU> (Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia) (Date: 29 Sep 1995)

Q: Does a PC Card modem use the UART on my motherboard ?

A: No.

Q: Are there any PC card that provides a serial port interface, NOT a modem, just the serial port and connector ? -- Dan Everhart <dan at>

Q: Try these vendors. Quatech makes a multi-port PCMCIA serial card as well as synchronous serial cards.

Socket Communications
2501 Technology Drive
Hayward, CA 94545
+1-510-670-0333 fax
+32 3 281 06 45 Belgium

662 Wolf Ledges Parkway
Akron, OH 44311
+1-216-434-1409 fax
+1-216-434-2481 bbs

Options by IBM HelpCenter
+1-800-426-3395 fax

Smart Modular Technologies
45531 Northport Loop West
Fremont, CA 94538
Fax 1-510-623-1434

-- From: bender@doemain (Michael Bender) [Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia][Date: 27 Sep 1995]

Q: Does there exist a PC Card that connects to a ISDN phone line ? Does it work with the Apple PowerBook 5300c ? -- Andreas Heidoetting <andreas_heidoetting at>

Q: Can I plug in and yank out PC Cards without turning off my computer ?

A: The PC Card standard is specifically designed for hot-swapping -- but see chart with next question.

Q: What kinds of PC Cards are available ?

Here's a list of all the different kinds of PC Cards I've heard of:

Has anyone actually *seen* PC Cards with these functions, or are they just a myth ???

"A comprehensive list of PC Card products and services is available at, in the web version of the PC Card Resource Directory." -- Greg Barr, 15 Jul 1996

(1) I've used a 14.4 modem card. I plug in, and yank out all the time (while the computer is on). Never a problem.

"PCMCIA 28.8 TDK modems for $295"
Mac Talk, Inc.
voice (800) 622-5557
FAX (818) 225-8627
e-mail: mactalk at (Mike Engle)
1995 Oct 06

(2) Sure, I can plug it in with the power on, but it refuses to talk to a CD-ROM drive unless the card is plugged in when I turn on the computer. (I usually insert card, flip power off, flip power on, use a CD-ROM drive a while, then yank it out and plug in some other card.)

$99 SCSI adapter from

$99 SCSI adapter from

"Shining Technology has a SCSI PCMCIA card ... retails for $180 ... Call 714.761.9598 or FAX at 714.761.9624 ... Ask for Gary Shumaker" -- GShumaker <gshumaker at>

(3) "With Win95, I've had no problems unplugging LAN cards (specifically, 3Com 3c589). This assumes that it is supported by one of the 32 bit drivers. If you try to access something on the net, you get a message about the resource not being available." -- Kevin D. Davis <kevind at>

(4) I've heard rumors that some old, obsolete memory cards would corrupt their memory if you inserted and/or yanked them out with the power on. Can anyone confirm this rumor ???

(5) ??? anyone have any experience ??? (see next question)

(6) Communication Automation and Control (800.367.6735; fax 610.770.1232) put a TI TMS320C32 floating point DSP, stereo CD-quality audio input/output channels,, 4MBytes of DRAM ... base price is $895, with development software extra. -- from ad in _EEPN_ 1996 March.

(6) "combination of CD-ROM and soundcard ... One is made by Zenith and got an excellent review in a recent magazine (I forget which one)." -- M David Tilson <mdt1 at>

Q: Tell me about GPS systems for portable computers. (What issue of PC World mentioned them ???)

Q: Tell me about PC Card wireless radio modems.

A1: "There is a review of cellular modems in the November 1995 _Mobile_Office_. The Apex Data Inc.'s Mobile Plus V.34 got the only 1st class award. (The Ericsson is an Apex 14.4 version)." -- Kevin D. Davis <kevind at>

A2: Motorola has one for about $800 -- for more info,

-- shags at (Pat O'Shaughnessey)

A2: "Check out: The Metricom modem isn't actually a PC card. It plugs into the external serial port." -- Matt Ranney - mjr at

A3: " $795 IBM Mobitex Type III PC Card radio modem ... sends and receives messages and faxes via a 900 MHz radio link ... Motorola InfoTAC serial port modem is available for $749. ... 8 Kbps ... coast-to-coast RAM Mobile Data wireless network ... can't connect to a wired phone connection, which means you'll need 2 modems when you travel. ..." -- Brian Nadel, 1995 Oct 10 PC Magazine

Q: Who makes other interesting ready-to-run PC Cards ???

"we are just about to release a MIDI card in PCMCIA format, we are interested
in Beta Testers." --
Jonathan Burchell - J C Designs Ltd
<jonathan at>
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 1995 14:37:54 GMT

"we make ... the GameCard II, a PCMCIA type II card and gives you a standard 'desktop' like dual joystick interface" -- <jonathan at> (Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 15:27:26 GMT)

Innovative Electronik Systems (303.649.9024) makes a Type II PC Card that talks to a IEEE 488.2 (GPIB) network. -- EEPN Jun. 1995

"Quadrant Int. in Pennsylvania has a real-time video capture PC card available. Check out" -- Chris Edgington <chrise at> <cedgingt at>

Communication Automation and Control, Inc. ( sells a single PC Card with both a AT&T DSP and Analog I/O; the "Bulletdsp" and the "DARTdsp".

$ 3 295
BU-65550 PCMCIA Type II interface card
MIL-STD-1553 data bus
"fully intelligent interface between a dual redundant 1553 data bus and a
PCMCIA socket."
ILC Data Device Corporation
"Contact Steve Freidman ... voice:516.567.5600"
-- _ECN_ 1996 July

I hear rumors that has announced a FM radio pcmcia card (???)

Subject: 4. Setting up Hosts / Slots for PC Cards

Q: How can I get my desktop machine to use PC Cards ?

A: Get an adapter card. What kind of slots does your desktop machine already have ?

"APR&C list phone, fax and URLs for most of the suppliers of card reader for PCMCIA Cards at our web site.

Select databases, then select card readers and a page will appear that show over 20 suppliers." -- Andrew Prophet <aprophet at> (Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia)(Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 )


$399 each: IBM's "IBM-81-205" PCI to PCMCIA adapter card. Includes Card and Socket Services software, four PCMCIA slots, IDE disk controller on the same card.

Order through Marshall Industries (818-307-6386).

Joe Underwood at IBM on 607-755-6573

"It is compatible with OS/2 Warp, DOS, and Windows." -- Joe Rash <jrash at>


??? each: Ramix's "RM435"

Ramix, Inc.

T: 818-349-6772

F: 818-349-0903

"I've ordered several from Ramix" -- Michael.Bender at Eng.Sun.COM

16-bit ISA:

SCM Microsystems, Adtron, Epson, DataBook, and many others

"Less than $200 for a dual-socket configuration usually." -- Michael.Bender at Eng.Sun.COM

16-bit ISA: (???)

"Check with Computer City. I've seen one there 199.00 with four slots. Two on the back of the card, two on the drive slot." -- Jeffrey Chu of Intel <JeffreySC at>


??? (Or just buy a 16-bit ISA board; they'll plug in)


Micro Memory Inc. ?

The "VMCI-2" single-slot, 3U VMEbus board can accept (a single?) Type I, II, and III PC Card through a front panel slot. $585 for commercial temperature range version. PEP Modular Computers, voice: 800.228.1737, fax: 602.483.7202. -- from EEPN June 1995.


MC-DISK-E is manufactured by MPL AG, Zelgweg 12, CH-5405 D"attwil, obviously a Swiss company. distributed in the USA by Spyrus. has 2 sockets for PC Cards to plug in.

Q: Does anyone have more information on getting this or similar devices to actually work ? What is a "ASPI interface" ? --mikebat at

"PC Card drive for computers with SCSI bus interface. The SDDS SCSI card drive provides a PCMCIA card interface for .... computers with a SCSI interface .... accommodates 2 cards of type I, II, or III specifications. Prices ... start at $350. Adtron Corp, Mesa, AZ (602.926.9324)." -- ad in _EDN_ 1995 Sep. 14 p. 181.

I'm sure there are other adapter cards out there ...

Q: Does anyone make an ISA/EISA PCMCIA adapter card that includes a boot ROM with enough Card and Socket Services to be able to boot your x86 machine from an ATA, memory or LAN card??? -- Michael Bender

Q: Is there any way to split a single PCMCIA slot into two?

-- Ken Mandelberg, km at

A: ???

"Certain government agencies that have security requirements are starting to mandate that all new systems have PCMCIA so that security cards (crypto devices) can be used. " -- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM

There's an external power adapter available, called the PalmTop adapter, that provides +5 at 1 amp for any PC card, at --Allan Hughes <ahughes at>

I have seen photos of a socket that allows a Type III card and a Type II card to plug in simultaneously, but I don't know of anyone that uses that socket -- everyone seems to be using sockets that completely block the other socket when a Type III card is plugged in. (It's fairly simple to simultaneously use 2 Type III cards into the same machine by using extender cards).

Greystone sells some interesting products, including a "PC-30 Power Adaptor" that claims to let you plug 3.3V PCMCIA cards into 5V slots, a "TA-50 Type Adaptor" extender that lets you plug Type III cards into a Type I or Type II slot, or use a Type III card and another card in a system designed to hold "two Type II or one Type III".

Subject: 5. Setting up PC Card software

What questions do you *want* this section to answer ?

Every host computer "should" come with a copy of Card Services (CS) and Socket Services(SS). (This is what they're called on x86 platforms; anyone know about other platforms ???)

This software hides the difference between

Q: Is there a PCMCIA SCSI card and driver that will work with Linux ? -- Rlogw (rlogw at

A: Look on

The Linux PCMCIA package supports the Qlogic FastSCSI and New Media Bus Toaster. -- Dave Hinds <dhinds at> [Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia][Date: 1 Apr 1995 ]

Q: How does Card Services (CS), expanded memory managers (EMM386/QEMM/etc.) and Windows collaborate on managing memory resources ? How should you set up config.sys so it won't conflict with the CS memory window ??? --Louis J Joubert <LJ at>

"Some PCMCIA calls reportedly appear to be dangerous for MS-DOS versions prior to 5.0" -- Ralf Brown <ralf at>

Can anyone confirm or deny this ???

SystemSoft, the makers of CardSoft, can be reached at:
TEL 508-651-0088
FAX 508-651-8188
SystemSoft Corporation
2 Vision Drive
Natick, MA 01760
--PWansick <pwansick at>

Subject: 6. Developing PC Card software

(If possible, device drivers should go through Card Services rather than through Socket Services or direct to hardware. See the "Card Services" section of the _PC Card Standard_).

Q: How do I place a card bus system in Legacy Mode? Given PCMCIA drivers that work fine in 16-bit PCMCIA computers, but don't work in computers with Card Bus chipsets running Windows NT, what do I need to do to make them work ?
-- Phil Yanni <Webmaster at> Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997

A: ???

partial A: Computers with Card Bus chipsets should automatically recognize when 16-bit PC Cards are plugged in. The hardware should then work exactly the same as the 16-bit hardware did. "all CardBus sockets also support non-CardBus cards" -- Does everything work fine on the 16-bit machines when they are running Windows NT ? Do the cards have a valid CIS that can be read by the OS, or do your drivers need to overcome the hardware flaw of a bad/missing CIS ? Are the drivers for your 16-bit PC Cards "16-bit drivers" or "32-bit drivers" ? In other words, are they VxDs (Win95 or VDDs (WinNT) running in Ring0 (32-bit drivers) or are they DLLs running in Ring3 (which may be 16-bit or may be 32-bit) ? There is a bug in the Intel PIIX4 affecting PC-Card insertion/removal Microsoft "Recommends" that the BIOS put the CardBus controller into legacy mode in section 8 of . If your BIOS doesn't do this, you need to get a new BIOS.

Q: What are the basic steps in developing a Windows 95 device driver for a PC Card ? -- Serge.Lhoste at [Date: January 31, 1996]


a) If you know a similar device that is already supported by Win95:
- use DTPL.EXE (see above) to test your CIS for compatibility.
- study the drivers supplied with Win95 or in driver lib on
- if still have questions, read DDK help.

Win95 has "super-client" that sits on top of 2.1-compliant Card Services and integrates to the PnP engine of Win95. It loads your driver after it has already detected your card, found the resources for it and configured the socket. Specifically, you don't need to check for CS to be present, detect your card and register to any CS event (but you can, if you still want). Your card MUST have the correct CIS that can be, however, patched by your INF file.

b) If your device type is NOT supported: "Complete, up-to-date requirements for PC Card devices under Windows 95 are defined in PC 97 Design Guide."

- write 32-bit CS client (VxD). More details are in DDK help.
- use Win95 support package available from Systemsoft ( that lets you use non-standard or legacy DOS client drivers.
- use CSMAPPER.SYS (on win95 CDROM). This driver need to be installed in CONFIG.SYS in order to map 16-bit requests from the DOS box to 32-bit CS. (the last advice is from : Alexei A. Piatetsky <Alexei_Piatetsky at> Senior Director of Software Development Award Software International Inc., Europe )

c) Nobody cares that you haven't driver for Win95 (or DOS, or CP/M...) The bad thing is that you dont' have driver for NT! :-)

-- Pavel Aronsky <pavel at> [Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996]

A2: Start by reading the Plug and Play documentation. Also look on the MSDN for more stuff. There are a couple if books you should also read, The PCMCIA S/W Developer's Handbook by Beatty, Kipisz & Moore, PCMCIA System Architecture by Addison Wesley publishing and must look at the PCMCIA Developer's Guide by Mori and Welder.

You driver must initially check for CS to be present and if so must register with to handle events on behalf of your PC Card. Part of registering, you set up a callback into your event handler for the Card. It all becomes clear once you read the various books and documentation mentioned above.

Good Luck

-- George Stephan - <gstephan at> <gstephan at> [To: <ddk-l at>][Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996]

Q: What are the basic steps in developing a Windows NT device driver for a PC Card ? -- Pavel Aronsky <pavel at> [Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996]

A: ??? Does Driver::Works from Vireo have any PC Card tools ?


From: Roger Pfister <ddk-user at>
Organization: DIVA Communications
To: ddk-l at
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 14:12:58 +0000
Subject: ddk-l: Re:
> I am a french student in electrical engineering and I am
> currently involved in a project which aims at developping a
> specific device driver for a pcmcia card under windows 95.
> Could anybody help me by telling me the basic steps ?
1. Get VC++2.2 from MS (avoid VC++4.0 for now)
2. Get MSDN level 2 from MS this is the SDK and DDK
3. Get SoftICE Win95 from NUMEGA
4. Get VtoolsD form Vireo
Use VtoolsD to generate the source files of the outline PCMCIA
driver in C or C++ !!!!!
The above will save you about a year of work.
I know, I have just been through it all.
Roger Pfister
DIVA Communications - Getting the Message Through
Wokingham UK + 44 1734 891719


Q: Does anyone know where I can get accurate and precise documentation on the PCMCIA extended Windows95 OSR2 Resource Descriptor (897C) and related issues ? -- <Pat at MSMAIL.IOSOFTWARE.COM> (Patrick Masse, expert on ZV-Port PCMCIA card; on ddk-l mailing list; )

A: ???


Q: Are there any PCMCIA/PCCARD driver source code available on the net?


From: ljg at (ljg)
Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia
Subject: Pro Bono (freeware) Client Driver still available via FTP
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 95 04:41:21 GMT

My Pro Bono client driver is still available via anon FTP. It includes complete source code and is designed to give you a head start in developing a full-blown PCMCIA client driver/enabler. Documentation is included. It is written 98% Microsoft C with the remainder in MASM.

The application demonstrated is interfacing with Card Services, opening a memory window to an SRAM card and reading a block of the memory to an MS-DOS file.

Its available at /* was */ or as a link on my home page: /* was */

A3: "Troy Miles of Phoenix Technologies Ltd wrote a client driver article for Dr Dobbs Journal in June 1994, which is republished in our Technical Ref Manual and at" -- Robert Keller, Phoenix Technologies, Ltd., <robert_keller at>


Free source code:

Samuel Liddicott <sam at> has released his card services library (including source).


Known types of machines that have PC Card sockets:

(Ideally, a PC Card would work in all these systems)(I consider all machines that can use the same device driver to be of the same type; different types need different device drivers.)

"this can't be stressed enough: *all* interaction with hardware should be done with a VxD." -- The US$ 30 book _Writing Windows Virtual Device Drivers_ by Thielen and Woodruff. Assumes you already have the Microsoft DDK. I think this only applies to Windows 3.x and Windows95. WindowsNT doesn't use VxDs.

Q: Does anyone have any clue how to write device drivers (or "PC Card Client Drivers") ? Especially for the Apple PowerBook ?

Unix A: (Is that spelled 'Unix' or 'UNIX' ?)

"I have done a PC Card system for the freely available BSD 4.4 based FreeBSD Operating System. The code, which is available at (there may be later revisions in that directory), contains card and socket services-like interfaces for a Unix version, and contains utilities to read and decode CIS tuples on cards. FreeBSD is available from ... My interest is in making the PC-Card standard available to people in the Unix world, especially using free software." -- Andrew McRae

Solaris A: "We do everything in C. For Solaris, we use exactly the same source code drivers and just compile them for each of the three platforms (x86, SPARC and PPC). If you do it right in the source, you don't even have to have conditional code. That way we only have one version [of the PC Card device driver] to worry about." -- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM (Doug McCallum)

Windows A:

"Microsoft produces Device Driver Kits (DDKs) for all of it's OSs. ... all (including Windows 3.1, MS-DOS, etc....) are available from the Microsoft Developer's Network (MSDN) Developer's Platform (Level 2). You can subscribe to the developer's Platform by calling MSDN at 800-759-5474." -- mikefl <mikefl at>

MSDN Level 2 is US$ 513.

"Check chapter 4 of PnP.doc (it's on the Windows 95 DDK) ... tells you the bindings for Win95 CardServices. ... also ... check pccard.h (on DDK CD too) for how to talk to the pccard.vxd which is a Microsoft implementation of Card Services on Windows 95."

-- Samuel Chen <schen at> (Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996)

Linux A:

"I've implemented a reasonably full-featured Card Services package for Linux. ... Documentation includes a detailed Programmer's Guide"

-- David Hinds <dhinds at>

FreeBSD A:

The current FreeBSD pc-card/apm package page is -- Louis J. Joubert (Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996)

Q: Are Card Services are available for anything outside x86 machines ?

A1: "Card Services and a complete PCMCIA framework is available for Solaris UNIX, which runs on x86, SPARC and PowerPC." -- (Michael Bender)

A2: "Yes and no. The question needs to be rephrased slightly though. It should be anything outside x86 systems running DOS/Windows drivers or some such. In any case, Card Services is how we are doing PC Card drivers for Solaris on SPARC, x86 and PowerPC although we haven't released the interface to third-party driver writers yet." -- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM (Doug McCallum)

Q: What about Windows '95 ?

A: "Although the Card Services interface will be available to programmers, new clients should be written to interface to the [Windows '95] Configuration Manager." -- Michael Mori.

Q: How do I make calls to Card Services ?

A: Look it up in the " interrupt list " from ralf at (Ralf Brown). (see On-line Resources).

[PDG] "5.2: Socket Services

Socket Services (SS) provides the low level "BIOS" interface to the socket controller hardware. Socket Services is typically "hidden" under Card Services and is rarely accessed directly by software clients. ... For systems that expect to boot from PC Cards, SS is typically ROM based."

[PDG] "5.3: Card Services

Card Services (CS) ... is typically implemented as a driver and loaded via CONFIG.SYS. ... once installed, [it] isolates Socket Services from client access. Although a mechanism exists in Card Services to access Socket Services directly it is only used in rare circumstances and is not recommended."

Delphi and PC Cards

"if there is sufficient interest ... We [may] convert our "Access Card Services Easily" DLL into a Delphi Non-Visual Component ... Currently the DLL provides all the 2.1 card services calls for accessing PCMCIA/PCCard cards, as mentioned in the offical specification, with Award's Cardware 2.1 or later, System Softs CardWizard 3.0 or greater, and even Phoenix's PCM+3.0. ... Using this DLL means you need not worry about the finer points of various implementations of Card Services, and yet still be able to write windows 16 bit applications using card services to run under windows95 or Windows 3.1x ... So if anyone would be interested in a Delphi Component to allow access to Card Services functions, please email me, indicating the price you would expect to pay for the component alone/or component with source code."

-- Sam Liddicott <sam at> [Newsgroups: comp.lang.pascal.delphi.components,alt.periphs.pcmcia][Subject: Card Services Component][Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995]

Subject: 7. Developing PC Cards: mechanical components

PCMCIA mechanical components include the outer PC Card case itself (sometimes called a "card frame kit") and the connectors on both ends.

Q: Why does PCMCIA specifically say (p. 3-15): "The PC Card shall be opaque (non see thru)" ???

The _PCMCIA PC Card Standard_ specifies exactly how durable the connectors must be.

The thinness spec. has the most influence on the electrical design. Many otherwise nifty components are too fat.

The PCMCIA specification says that, from the outer metal surface to the outer metal surface,

Remember that this includes the width of the outer metal case (?) and width of the "PC board" substrate.

Q: Who makes thin "PC Board" (typically 0.4 to .56 mm [PDG] )???

"A symmetric Type II card frame kit allows for 2.0 mm component height on both sides of the board. ... The offset type connector ... components with heights up to 2.7 mm". -- [PDG]

Q: Who makes PCMCIA mechanical components ?

A: Tell them David Cary sent you. (They don't know me, but they will !) Several companies, including

Methode Electronics, Inc.

Connector Division; Chicago, IL. John Oldendorf: fax 708.867.0435

"I/O header for Type II PC Cards ... $1.31 ea./large qty -- 2 weeks ARO." [-- _Electronic Products_ July 1995 p.101]

"Type II frame kit ... snap together ... [no] adhesives ... accepts a variety of I/O headers. ... The PCB is not included"

Cardbus connector

Hirose Electric, Inc.

2688 Westhills Court
Simi Valley, CA 93065-6235
voice: 805.522.7958
fax: 805.522.3217
"I/O connectors ... 1 row of 9, 15, 25, and 32 pins"
"card-side connectors"
"device-side connectors"
"Type II frame kits"

Elco Corporation

(Huntingdon, PA, USA)

fax: 814-643-0426

voice: 1-800-653-ELCO

Elco Europe, GmbH (Betzdorf, Germany)

fax: 49-2741-299299

voice: 49-2741-2990

"Type I Frames", "Type II Frames", "I/O cable connectors", "Host Device components"

(apparently distributed through AVX; see AVX in the Passive Components section)


Starconn Connectors

fax 909 944 0464


Q: Are there any other manufacturers ???

Subject: 8. Developing PC Cards: Passive Components

Extender cards, Resistors, inductors, capacitors, fuses, batteries, etc.

Q: Does anyone know about an extender card / board for CardBus ? With headers for a logic analyzer ? Will standard 16-bit PC Card extenders work ? -- ksuzukih < at> (Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996)

A: ???

AVA Instrumentation ( sells a "Development/prototyping kit and ExtenderCard".

Sycard Technology (408.247.0730) has useful development tools. (socket tester card) (extender card that brings all the signals out to a header you can prototype / wire wrap)

Tamura Corp. of America (phone ???) supposedly sells transformers that fit in Type II PC Cards.

Q: Has anyone designed batteries that can fit into a PCMCIA card housing? These batteries cannot be like watch batteries.. they actually have to supply some current and must be rechargeable through the port. -- Dave Kingma <dkingma at>

A1: ??? Anyone ???

A2: This isn't exactly what you asked for, but perhaps it will be close enough:

The 3C050M Powerdex 3V lithium primary (non-rechargeable) battery

$1.20 (in quantities of 50 000)

50 mAh capacity

30 x 40 x 0.7 mm thick,

"has a relatively flat discharge curve. If you divide the 50 mAh capacity by the load current in mA, you'll obtain the time in hours to the "knee", beyond which the voltage drops rapidly."

Gould Inc.

voice: 216.953.5084

(from _EDN_ 1995 Feb 2)

Q: Who makes passive components small enough to fit in a PC Card ?

A: several companies, including

Subject: 8. Developing PC Cards: electronic chips and kits available

(see "Passive Components" for extender cards)

Q: Are there any CPUs thin enough to go inside a PC Card ?

A1: I've heard rumors of a 8051 version ...

A2: 3 chips based on ARM7 core:

$2 500 development software includes Windows-based debugger.

$2 300 MAP-1 evaluation board supports all three models.

GEC Plessey Semiconductors 408-451-4700

-- _Electronic Products_ 1995 July p. 64

"The ARM7 versions "Spider" ($40 ?)and the "Mantis" ($55 ?) won't go into production until around 1996 March." -- An Insight rep leaked this to me 1995 Oct.

A3: Any others ?

Q: How much money does it typically take to turn an idea into a PC Card in production ?

A: I wish I knew ???

"A PC card that does *nothing* costs $25 just for the frame and connector."

There's 3 paths (that I know of) to a functioning PC Card:

Q: Is the interface chip really necessary, or is it possible to just interface to the address and data lines directly? ??? -- Chuck Knight <chuck at>

"I believe that the Bondwell game card, while certainly not the best example of PCMCIA compatability, implements the complete PCMCIA IO iterface using just a few LSTTL-type devices and a PROM for the CIS." -- Michael Bender


You need to have an area of attribute memory for the CIS, ... You also need to implement at least one configuration register to ensure that the I/O functions are disabled at power up.

Other than that the bulk of interface chips simple decode (which can be done by the PCIC) and tristate the data lines, so if your functional block tristates properly, you don't need anything else. You can easily get a complete 16 bit, tristating interface into a Xilinx 3000, and a simple interface without address decode into a 2064 (neither use much of the resources - they're both I/O limited). If you don't need to tristate the data it should fit in a fairly trivial PAL.

-- Nick Hunn


For an SRAM card, ... you can have your decode logic map both Attribute Memory and Common Memory togther, and since it's a memory card and not an IO card, you don't need to provide any config registers.

The CIS can be put inot the start of your RAM array and backed up by a battery, and you can have appropriate tuples that direct the software to use the memory after the end of the CIS as storage.

-- Michael Bender


"Virtual Chips provides PCI,PCMCIA,CARDBUS,USB VHDL and VERILOG models."

One distributor is :

Answer Systems ( in France)

phone : 33 1 69 47 13 30
fax   : 33 1 69 47 13 39

-- ABIVEN Anne <ABIVEN at>(Date: Thu, 11 Jul 96)(To: <pci-sig-request at>)


Q: What do you know about prices ?


PCMCIA (Card-side) interface ICs
price quantity IC name manufacturer
$15 (1000) PCM16C00 National
$ 5.75 (10,000) MSM60801 Oki
$ 4.40 (100,000) Z86017 Zilog
$4.00 (1996) ("large") Z16017 has 256 byte CIS attribute memory. "A demonstration board with an EEPROM socket is also available." ZiLOG, Inc.
N/A DNE 5001 Dr Neuhaus GmbH
?? Sym53c500 Symbios Logic sells the Sym53c500 , a PCMCIA/SCSI controller. (They also have lots of PCI chips).(1.800.334.5454).

N/A not implemented yet.

David Cary has Zilog's "PCMCIA Development Kit". (z8601700zco). (3 week lead time from Arrow, $435 -- probably cheaper now ??).

Surely some other development kits exist.

Does anyone know what prices for chips / development systems / royalties are ?

(Xilinx and Atmel and Altera produce FPGA chips that are thin enough to fit in a Type I PC Card. Lattice makes "FPLA" devices thin enough, but do they have enough functionality ?)

"Programmable Logic Simplifies PCMCIA Interface" article by Martin S. Won of Altera Corp., in _Electronic Design_ July 24, 1995. "The AHDL description of the PCMCIA Interface Macrofunction is available from Altera's Applications Group, at 800.800.EPLD."

$5.63 (in 2500s) LT1106 (DC-DC converter; meets Type I PCMCIA 3.3 mm thickness; 20-pin, 1.1 mm thick TSSOP package; 500 KHz switching frequency; uses thin 10 uH inductors and caps)("senses available inputs from a PCMCIA connector and, if no 12 V supply is available, generates 12 V from either a 3.3 or 5V Vcc supply... can also generate a 5V Vpp output from Vcc ...")(article in _EDN_ Nov. 10, 1994, p. 26)(Linear Technology Corp, 408-432-1900)

Subject: 9. Developing PC Cards: electronic specs

(Note: every PC Card *must* have a CIS in some sort of non-volatile memory. See "Developing PC Cards: The CIS".)

"If at all possible, if you can make the PC Card only decode the minimal number of address lines rather than 10, it makes it easier to move around on other systems. A lot of PC Cards decode all 10 and then only have a limited number of configurations available." -- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM (Doug McCallum)

For example, if your card needs 32 bytes of I/O locations, the hardware on the card should decode the bottom 5 address lines, but should have *nothing* connected to any of the higher address lines. See "Developing PC Cards: The CIS" for more details.

However, the card *should* look at slightly more address lines when the host is reading the CIS. Don't take the "connect to only the bottom 5 lines" too literally. -- DAV

Q: Are there any "hands-on" PCMCIA training courses ??? -- <brackett_scott at>

A: Yes. Annabooks offers "Using PC Card Technology Effectively", a single full-day seminar for system developers. Call 800-462-1042 or visit for more information.

Q: I would like to design a card that looks like a serial port to the computer but actually has some circuitry that talks via that serial port on in the card. Has someone already designed just a basic serial card whereby I could take what was already designed and add my circuitry to the card? -- dkingma at (Dave Kingma)

A: ???

Q: If I am trying to target a userbase that may be using handheld computer, laptop, or desktop, are there any additional design considerations I must make?

-- Dave Kingma <dkingma at>

A: ???

ExCA defines a minimum set of features for a socket controller, including

The Casio Zoomer has a maximum current rating for its PC Card slot of only 50 mA. -- [PDG]

"The HP200LX ... one PCMCIA Type II slot ... 7.91 MHz Intel 80C186 CPU ..." [_PDA Developer's Journal_ 1995 Jan]

The card must short the card detect pins -CD1 and -CD2 to ground. [PDG]

(p.53) On reset, all cards should configure themselves for a memory interface. [PDG]

(p.61) ... a hard or soft reset should force the PC Card into its lowest power operating mode. [PDG]

Nowadays it's easy to switch power on and off to various components, now that transistors with negligible voltage drop are available. [DAV]

(p.65) the PCMCIA specification specifies a maximum access time of 300 ns for the attribute memory at 5V. ... If the card is capable of operation at 3.3V, the specified maximum access time is 600 ns. -- [PDG]

(67) PCMCIA specifies a maximum capacitive load per pin of 50 pF. [PDG]

Except for the power pins. Power pins should have capacitive load low enough to meet the 100 mA (??this can't be right??) inrush spec. on the power pins.


Pull-ups: 10K or greater -- [PDG]

Pull-Downs: greater than 100K (on address pins ???)

Q: Which pins need pull up or pull down resistors ?

(??) The host asserts *Reg during I/O and attribute memory accesses. Card should pull it up. [PDG]

Subject: A. Card Bus

PCMCIA R2 v. Card Bus

comparison mostly from Texas Instruments _On-Board_ newsletter, Fall 1994 (this may be a bit obsolete):

Operating voltages:
  PC: 5.0, 3.3, X.X V
  CB: 3.3, X.X V
Data Size:
  PC: 8 or 16 bits
  CB: 32 bits
  PC: ISA-like
  CB: PCI-compatible, with some limitations
Maximum Transfer Rate:
  PC: 20 MBytes/s
  CB: 133 MBytes/s, 33 MHz
Socket compatibility:
  PC: can only handle PC Cards
  CB: Required to handle PC Cards and CardBus cards
Maximum in-rush current:
  PC: 100 mA
  CB: 100 mA
Connector: Both use identical connector hardware:
  PC: 68 pins, optional ground contact on top
  CB: 68 pin, required ground contact
Bus Master:
  PC: host CPU, host-side DMA.
  CB: host CPU, card-side DMA, card CPU.

"Very few systems have the hardware support to allow the [host-side] DMA interface to work (DMA wasn't defined in the 2.1 spec.). If you implement it, please follow the 3.0 spec. and also allow a non-DMA mechanism. "

-- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM


Date: Sat, 18 Nov 95 15:50:00 PST
From: H John McGrath <H_John_McGrath at>
To: pci-sig-request at, pci-sig at
Subject: Re[2]: PCI vs. CardBus Specifications

Let me try to clear some things up here. First the CardBus spec is part of the PCMCIA standard and may be purchased from them. Their phone: (408) 433-2273. Also what has in the past been called a "PCMCIA card" is now officially designated a "PC Card-16" card. PCMCIA is the acronym for the association's name.

The CardBus spec was intended to be as close to PCI as was feasible. There are a few reasons why they vary. The two major reasons are:

1) CardBus slots must support PC Card-16 cards. This allows an OEM to add CardBus without giving up backward compatibility. While CardBus slots are not REQUIRED to support 5V 16 bit cards, all currently under development WILL. This requirement means CardBus couldn't improve on the existing connector's ground characteristics (only 4 ground pins) by adding pins. A new connector that adds 8 additional grounds, but not pins, was developed. The connector supports the 16-bit cards. While the connector is better, it still requires CardBus to control the signal edge rates. They are spec'd at a maximum edge rate of 1V/ns and 0.25V/ns at the slowest. This means the fastest edge on CardBus equals only the slowest on PCI. Therefore PCI drivers cannot be used directly on CardBus. A dual mode buffer, or other solution, is required to use the same part in two places.

2) CardBus is dynamically insertable. This requires the slot to accept the card and allow it to be configured without shutting down or rebooting the machine. This dynamic insertion capability means a slot must determine the card type installed before applying power. It also switches signal protocol to whatever card type is installed. A CardBus card uses a bus protocol virtually identical to PCI and NEVER looks, or operates, like a PC Card-16 card. The two VS and two CD pins on the connector are encoded (grounded, shorted, or open) in such a manner that a state machine in the PCI-to-CardBus bridge can drive the VS lines to make the determination of card type and its supported voltages.

The issue of using common silicon between PCI and CardBus is dealt with in the PCMCIA Standard in the Guidelines section. The chapter on common silicon defines the differences a designer must deal with to build a common interface ASIC.

Hope this helps.



Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 18:45:17 -0800
From: ajoy at (Ajoy Aswadhati)
To: pci-sig at, rwalter at
Subject: Re: PCI vs. CardBus Specifications

The carbus cards will have nothing to do the old PCMCIA spec(a.k.a R2). Only the host adapters that support cardbus will have to deal with detecting and supporting both cardbus and PCMCIA cards. The Cardbus spec specifies a mechanism of using 2 card detect pins and 2 voltage sense pins that may be connected internally to each other. The host adapter uses these pins to query and determine the appropriate card inserted in the socket. It is rather too involved to get into details here.

These pins need not be part of the cardbus silicon. The PCI 2.1 spec mentions a carbus cis pointer at offset 28 of the configuration space for devices that share silicon between cardbus and PCI.

It is rather unlikely for an existing PCI device to be dropped straight into a cardbus card. There are issues like supporting a 'clkrun' protocol, slew rate controllable buffers and having only one interrupt pin in the cardbus environment. So silicon that is desirable to be shared,has to be designed to support both environments.

Hope this information helps.

Ajoy Aswadhati

Rendition Inc.

Sycard Technology has a few CardBus card development tools.

Subject: B. Developing PC Cards: The CIS

Using DTPL.EXE from Miscrosoft

DTPL.EXE is primarily for testing CIS for Win95 compatibility.

However, DTPL proves to be useful for *every* card maker - it allows quickly test your tuples, without ever putting them on the card.

It reads CIS from file, or directly from the card via DOS card services. You can even cut the hassle installing CS, if you use my program that reads CIS directly (requires 100% pcic-compatible controller; with TurboPascal sources).

DTPL decodes the tuples and displays the set of configuration for the card, that will be built automatically and used by Win95. DTPL takes only what is sufficient for Win95; it does not analyse minor details from CISTPL_FUNCE tuples, such as modem command set, fax capabilities, LAN technology, etc.

The latest version of DTPL 6.02.26 understands the *TRUE* multifunction CIS as per Feb'95 edition of PCMCIA standard, and custom interface IDs. Microsoft plans to support such cards in the next version of Win95 (Win95.950 and NT4 do NOT).

DTPL can be downloaded from:

-- Thanks to for this information go to Pavel Aronsky <pavel at> Silicom Connectivity Solutions - Development

More CIS details

I'd really appreciate it if someone could confirm if the method in this section is really the Right Way to Do Things.

Q: A "tuple compiler" is a bit of software that allows you (the hardware engineer) to fill out a form with information about your card, then it takes that information and generates a CIS ready to put on your card.

It is much easier than writing out hex codes by hand. Does anyone know where I could get one ??? -- [DAV]

Q: All these tuples ! Where do I start ?

A: Michael Bender says:

"Weigh the cost of a larger PROM against the cost of supporting a card that does not supply enough CIS information or which presents a CIS that is not in compliance with the PCMCIA standard. The extra 5 cents you save by using a smaller part for the CIS might translate into many dollars of back-end costs when it comes time to support the card in the market.

Of course, this is the classic business tradeoff that Ford made concerning the Pinto gas tank as well :-)."

Please make sure your card has at least these 6 tuples:

(Any other critical ones ???)

Q: What number should I put in CISTPL_MANFID ?

A: (p.59) Contact PCMCIA directly and ask for the "Manufacturer's ID Tuple application form". [PDG]

I called and they faxed me a form asking for $100 ($75 for members) to register me. $100 for a 2-byte number. Makes one wonder how much one could make selling 4-byte numbers. [DAV]


If the CIS just says you decode 5 address lines and doesn't provide a base I/O address, the CIS implies that it fits on any 32 byte boundary. You can actually specify any address, but zero makes as much sense as any.

Reasonable software should understand that if you decode N addresses, that it can relocate to any address that has the correct alignment (32 byte in your case) and where any bits in the part of the address specified that would still be set if you AND it with a mask of the N lower bits set are also set.


-- Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM (Doug McCallum) [Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 ]

Q: My card needs 32 contiguous I/O locations located on a 32-byte boundary (and the hardware people Did the Right Thing by connecting only 5 address lines), but I don't care where exactly, as long as you tell my application software where you put it. What do I need to put in the CIS ?

Is this really right ??? A: In the CISTPL_CFTABLE_ENTRY tuple, TPCE_IO section, make the "I/O address lines" field = 5, indicate whether the card supports 8-bit or 16-bit or both accesses, and clear bit 7 ("Range") to indicate that the card responds to all I/O accesses. (You could also set the Range bit and add a I/O Range Descriptor to give a "suggested" I/O location for compatibility with old software).

The CIS can either not specify a base I/O address, or specify any address ("zero makes a much sense as any other address").

Q: I have a card with a CIS that has a TPCE_IO tuple with "I/O Address lines" field == 5, bit 7 of the TPCE_IO byte (the 'Range' bit) is set, and a I/O Range Descriptor with a "I/O address block start address" == 0x210 and a "I/O address block length" == 13. How is the host suppost to configure it ? What should my software do ? [This is a hypothetical question; I doubt such a card really exists].

Is this really right ??? A:

The card is saying that as long as you have bit 4 (fifth bit) set, it can go anywhere but that 0x210 is where existing software would expect such hardware.

"Smart" application software should use GetConfigurationInfo to see if the card *really* got I/O location 0x210 or some other location.

"the address range the card decodes" is actually a nonsensical statement. the socket controller chip on the host motherboard is actually responsible for decoding the address. If the host CPU reads some address that the socket controller chip decides whether or not to pass the read and write signals on to the card (depending on where it *wants* the card to be).

The card should respond to *every* read or write access to it; a 32KByte card (for example) (This *includes* the CIS !) should use address lines 0 through 14, and not even have anything connected to the other (higher) address lines.

From: tom.glad@tsd, (Tom Glad)
Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia
Subject: Re: PCMCIA 28.8 v.34 modem suggestions
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 95 07:53:53 PST
Organization: TDK Systems
>: >: This will allow V.42bis thruputs up thru 260K bit/sec on highly
>: >: compressable files. I'm quite proud of it.
>: The High Speed Parallel Port is mapped into I/O space like the COM
>So, on the TDK modem is there not only the traditional UART register set
>(makes it look like a 16X50 UART) but also an alternate register set that
>makes the card look like a parallel port, and it's this alternate
>set that the driver causes the PCMCIA adapter to map in at an LPT IO
The PCMCIA 2.1 specifications allows an I/O device to be configured to
many configurations. We have elected to support in the TDK DF2814 the
following single and dual i/o port configurations

"COM1" (3F8)
"COM2" (2F8)
"COM3" (3E8)
"COM4" (2E8)
"COM0" (000) (let the PCMCIA controller put the modem where it wants for
              non x86 platforms)

"LPT1" (3BC)
"LPT2" (378)
"LPT3" (278)
"LPT0" (000) (non x86)

Also Dual modes COM0 + LPT1,LPT2, or LPT3
and LPT0 + COM1,2,3,or 4

In the dual modes the modem selects which one to use based on host
activity. Hope this helps.

Tom Glad, TDK Systems
tom.glad at

Subject: C. Developing Hosts / Slots for PC Cards

The slot a PC card slides into is commonly called a "socket".

interfacing PC Cards to various micros/embedded systems

Q: I'm looking for a way to connect a PCMCIA memorycard to an 8051 controllerboard. I would like to write data to this card, and be able to read that card on a laptop PC. Would it be very complicated to write to the card in an MS-DOS compatible way? -- jhofman <jhofman at> (Date: 22 May 1996)

A: ???

"chips & technologies 8680 ... is an Intel 8086 clone with PCMCIA interface, LCD controller, and serial port built in." -- Shawn Oles <odical at>

Q: How to implement the PCMCIA control cktry into a new design? Please e-mail as well as post (to alt.periphs.pcmcia) any suggestions/info. -- Andrew W Deweerd (adeweerd at


You might be able to bit-bang the PCMCIA socket interface itself with something like an 8051 or 68HC11, or you might consider adding an 82365SL or DataBook ISA<->PCMCIA adapter. -- unknown


I built a data logger for use on Flash and SRAM cards. Initially I looked at the xx365 option but in the end chose to use a few surface mount latches and some PALS on an AT89C51 (i.e., 8051) driving a dual PCMCIA slot. It's not difficult to manage linear memory cards (SRAM and FLASH) ... The Intel data book "Flash Memory : Volume II" was very helpful. Intel order number 210830-013. It has good descriptions of both linear and ATA style flash memory cards.

-- Paul Richards <par at>
(I think this manual can be ordered from )


You don't need a socket controller chip if your device is dealing with one card type and doing one function. But, I think writing to an ATA card with a micro is going to be easier software than writing to a flash card, assuming the resulting data will be readable on another host without a lot of custom software in the host. Remember, flash drivers need to keep track of used blocks, ware-leveling, etc. The ATA card is just a bunch of registers.

-- arthur zachai <azachai at> (Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 12:06:26 GMT)

interfacing PC Cards to PCI-based systems

"Cirrus Logic has a PCI to PCMCIA controller chip. Contact

Cirrus Logic
3100 West Warren Ave.
CA 94538

" -- Sinclair Easton Grey Cell <seaston at>

Texas Instruments has a PCI bus-to-PC Card controller chip .... compatible with 32-bit CardBus ... two 16-bit PC Card slots ... supports ... zoom video ... DMA ... programmable interrupts ... 3.3V or 5V PCI bus, and ... 3.3V or 5V PC cards. ... 208-pin TQFP ... $11.27 in quantities of 150,000. -- _ECN News_ 1996 Dec.

Texas Instruments, Inc.
Semiconductor Group
Literature Response Center
P.O.Box 172228, Denver, CO 80217
1-800-477-8924 ext. 4500.

Subject: D. On-line Resources

Related Newsgroups:

More resources:

Check out --- ... Len Galasso might be able to help ... worked Phoenix Technologies PCMCIA ....

Annabooks ( offers the "Using PC Card Technology Effectively" seminar.

Texas Instruments ( sells the "PCI1031" for US$ 11.27 (in 150 K quantities), a "CardBus Controller" designed to go in a host PC, beween the PC Card sockets and the PCI bus. It claims to support both 3.3V or 5V PCI bus and, at the same time, support either 3.3V or 5V PC Cards.

" had some interesting stuff at one time, and had flash device drivers, the pcic.exe utility, PCI, and more.hes" -- Arthur Zachai <azachai at> (The pcic.exe utility came from Intel -- Pavel Aronsky <pavel at>)

mobilis: the mobile computing lifestyle magazine. info on PDAs, wireless communication, and mobile peripherals.

Go PlugPlay (on CompuServe) has some info on PCMCIA.


All x86 programmers should get a copy of the "interrupt list" by Ralf Brown. It's available on the SimTel Software Repository mirrors as files to interRRd.ZIP in directory /pub/msdos/info, where RR stands for the release number. Note that you must use a binary transfer mode ("tenex" or "type L 8" for most people) to successfully FTP .zip files.

The SimTel mirrors include [], [], [], [], [], and [].


If you're interested in CardBus, you should probably look at the PCI Special Interest Group mailing list: Send mail to with the word "subscribe" in the "Subject:" line. -- Rich Baek <rbaekvtm at>

the Road Warrior Outpost for Laptop & Notebook Computers by Jeff Hosilyk <warrior at> voice:1-800-274-4277 ext 112

"Apple( has a fax-back list of "approved" cards that work with the PCMCIA Adapter Module." -- brad at

Windows NT 3.51 Compatibility

A list of hardware that has been tested for PCMCIA compatibility (X86 platform only) with Windows NT 3.51 can be found at under the PCMCIA Tested Hardware button. --Markus Duda <duda at>

OS/2 Compatibility

IBM publishes an "OS/2 Hardware Compatibility List" which you can obtain by calling 1-800-426-4579 in the US and Canada or 1-708-296-6767 Internationally. --Dana L. Beatty <dana_beatty at>


USR modem users can get support by sending email to:

Roger C. Pao runs a list server:
List server: "Send a one line message "info" to
<>. Subject line is ignored. Do not append
a .signature to the message."
This list server has files on:
PCMCIA LiveWire Ethernet LAN
PCMCIA Toast-n-Jam Multimedia Combo Sound/SCSI
PCMCIA drivers for Linux

<a href="">

New Media Corporation

voice: 714-453-0100
Fax: 714-453-0114
BBS: 714-453-0214
Technical Support: 714-453-0314
Technical Support Fax: 714-453-0614
Fax-On-Demand: 714-789-5212
Internet E-Mail:
CompuServe E-Mail:
-- "Roger C. Pao [NMC]" <rpao at>

Embedded Systems

The latest version of this FAQ:

Subject: E. Books and periodicals

_PDA Developer's Journal_ ($60/year, published by Creative Digital Systems,

_IC Card System and Design_ periodical dedicated to PC Card technology. 6300 S. Syracuse Way Ste. 650 Englewood CO 80111 [FIXME: This is from 1994. is there a URI ?]

_The HP Palmtop Paper_ dedicated to users of the HP95LX and HP100LX (which has a PC Card slot). Thaddeus Computing Inc. 57 East Broadway Ave. Fairfield IA 52556 [FIXME: This is from 1994. is there a URI ?]

Lots of CardBus info in "New from CardBus: an easier, faster ride" article by Stephen Kempainen, Technical Editor, _EDN_ 1997 April 10

"if you're interested in the engineering side of the standard. Shanely has one called _PCMCIA System Architecture_ (ISBN 1-88-1609-11-1) for $29.95; Michael T. Mori sells another for $89.95 entitled _The PCMCIA Developer's Guide_, available by calling 1-408-247-0730. Larry Levine has a novice/user's guide called "PCMCIA Primer" (ISBN 1-55828-437-0) for $24.95." -- dana_beatty at

"PCMCIA 16-Bit System Architecture (CardBus by December), MindShare ... now available through PCMCIA" -- gbarr at

"I'm a co-author of [...] _PCMCIA Software Developer's Handbook_ (ISBN 1-57398-010-2) that should be out shortly. It's geared towards folks that want to write PCMCIA client drivers or application programs.
If the book is successful, we'll revise it to cover other [non-x86] operating systems." -- dana_beatty at

_The Insider's Guide to PCMCIA Computing_ ISBN 0-57398-010-2. "...should be out [soon] ... more software oriented" -- dana_beatty at


[PDG] refers to _The PCMCIA Developer's Guide, 2nd Ed._ (c)1994 (US$ 90.00 ) book by Michael Mori and F. Welder, published by Sycard Technology (408.247.0730), Sunnyvale, CA, ISBN 0-9640342-0-4. .

| Mike Mori - Sycard Technology |
| (408)749-0130 (408)749-1323 Fax |

"useful" -- recommended by Gary Legg

-- recommended by Doug McCallum

"deals with hardware aspects" -- dana_beatty at

[DAV] Note that "2nd Ed" -- it's improved over the 1st Ed. The 2nd Ed. has a much expanded list of chips, and a whole new chapter on CardBus.

ERRATA: If you look at the .c files on the disk in the back of book, you'll notice something funny. The real .c files are available; email me for info.

Available through PCMCIA


US$ 24.95 _PCMCIA Primer_ by Larry Levine; Published by M&T Books; ISBN 1-55828-437-0. -- "It's a good book (if I do say so myself!). Let me know what you think!" -- Larry M Levine <levine at> Available through PCMCIA.


"PC Card Standards Keep Up with the Times" article by Richard Nass in _Electronic Design_ 1995 Nov. 6.

"Tools & Technology: Versatility, Portability Characterize Newest Data Acquisition Products" article by Caren D. Potter (yes, Caren), in _The Scientist_ 1995 Aug. 21 ..."Portable systems let you acquire and analyze your data closer to real time, so you get better data" -- Don Nuzzio ... "To connect PCMCIA cards to the real-world data source, some extra hardware is needed. That includes a cable that plugs into the PCMCIA card and connects it to another devices called a terminal block or pod, to which various sensors are connected. ... " -- Caren D. Potter

"Battery-operated loggers collect remote data, let you transport results in a shirt pocket" article by Paul Schreier, in _Personal Engineering_ 1994 July. mostly about ... Unidata ... Data Electronics ... Monarch Instruments ... Devar ... data loggers with slot to put PCMCIA "RAM" cards, so later the data can be popped out and transfrerred to a [desktop or portable] PC.

_Embedded Systems Programming Product News_ 1996 Fall "PC Card Technology and the Embedded Market" article by Stephen Harper <sharper at>

Anybody that knows of any other PCMCIA books, please email to both both:

David Cary
PC Card FAQ maintainer
Greg Barr,
PCMCIA Public Relations Coordinator

Subject: F. Credits

Chart "PCMCIA interface ICs" from "ICs and reference designs speed PC Card development" article by gary.legg. at (Gary Legg), _EDN_ June 8, 1995.

[PDG] refers to Michael Mori's book (see Other Resources).

Zilog chip info from Zilog.

[DAV] refers to your humble servant, David Cary, <d.cary at>.

Doug.McCallum at Central.Sun.COM (Doug McCallum) info on Solaris.

Tuple recommendations plagiarized from an article Michael Bender posted in the "alt.periphs.pcmcia" news group. Michael.Bender at Eng.Sun.COM

N Hunn Grey Cell Sy (nickhunn at

readability suggestions from Mike Mori <mtmori at>

levine at

warrior at (Jeff Hosilyk)

dbridges at ERC.MsState.Edu (Douglas Bridges)

ninapint at (Nina Pinto) for PCMCIA BBS numbers

dana_beatty at (Dana L. Beatty) for info on lots of books and some OS/2; _PCMCIA Software Developer's Handbook_ co-author

Markus Duda <duda at>

shags at (Pat O'Shaughnessey)

Matt Ranney - mjr at

odical at (Shawn Oles) -- 8680 chip info

jrash at (Joe Rash ) -- IBM adapter card that plugs into PCI slots.

andrew at (Andrew McRae, FreeBSD)

"Roger C. Pao" <rpao at> (New Media Bus Toaster info)

ralf at (Ralf Brown) -- his amazing and useful Interrupt List

brad at -- Apple Powerbook info

Andy Ingraham <ingraham at> -- FAQ formatting

Kevin D. Davis <kevind at> -- cellular modems

Subject: G. Legal Mumbo-Jumbo.

Q: Is legal mumbo-jumbo like the following really necessary ?

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for anything at all. Ever. So there.

Copyright (c) 1995,1996 by David Cary, all rights reserved.

Please send corrections and additions to me rather than keeping a modified version of the list, so that all may benefit from your contribution.

You may post this FAQ to any USENET news group or other on-line service as long as it is posted in its entirety and includes this copyright statement.

If you want to sell an archive which includes this message, you agree to send me a free copy of it for examination purposes.


Permission to do reasonable things not for profit is given to anyone. Anything else, ask me.


David Cary <d.cary at>

------------ end of PC Card FAQ ------------------

Subject: H. This just in

Here's some bonus info that I haven't gotten around to integrating into the rest of my FAQ.

non-PCMCIA stuff that's still useful for portable computers

"Colorado Spectrum Portable Game Port plugs into your serial port (and has a serial port passthru) for $48 ($59 with Joystick)" -- Mary Harrsch <Mary_Harrsch at> (Date: 11 Oct 1995 16:22:37 GMT)

"Try Data Comm Warehouse
phone: 1-800-328-2261
fax: 1-908-368-4823
Thinnet 10 ft cable $9.95
BCN Terminator 50 Ohm Std. $1.89
BCN T Adapter F/M/F Std. $3.69
" --leonard101 at


From: davidfl at
To: <pci-sig at>
Subject: Looking for PCI hardware for future Windows testing
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 09:06:14 -0800
I am trying to acquire specific PCI cards for Windows configuration testing.
If you have a card that I can acquire that fits into the following categories
please let me know.
-) Cards that use a PCI to PCI bridge chip
-) Cards that use a Cardbus bridge
-) Cards that use some other type of bridge chip (PCMCIA bridges and Others)
-) Multi-function PCI cards of all types
-) Cards that support the Subsystem ID and Subsystem Vendor ID registers
-) IDE cards that support Native Mode
-) Video cards that support "Native Mode" (ie cards that can be configured
NOT to use VGA resources).
-) Cards that have a class code that only fits in the "Other" class (using
80h in the Sub-Class location of the class code).
-) Cards with a Base Class of FFh (ie doesn't fit any defined class).
-) PCI expansion boxes
-) ***PC Cardbus cards***
-) PCI docking machines of all types
-) New PCI chipsets
I would like to gather a fairly large set of these different devices for
future Windows configuration testing. If you have a device that you'd be
willing to send to Microsoft as an evaluation unit please let me know. If
your device is shipping please let me know the relevant purchasing information.
If you have already sent us one of these types of evaluation cards I would
like to know who it was sent to, please.
In order to perform the simpliest configuration all I need is the hardware.
To actually use the device I'll also need the appropriate drivers and .INF
Again, if there is a way that I can acquire your hardware please send Email
to me,, here at Microsoft (reply to this message).
Phone, Fax, Email, CIS ID, etc:
A detailed description of your Hardware:
Thank you very much,
David Flenniken


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 96 15:22:20 -0800
X-Sender: daveo at
From: "David O'Shea" <daveo at>
Subject: Re: PCI/Cardbus Modems
X-Mailing-List: <pci-sig at> archive/latest/2278

It would seem that the ISA legacy problem is back again. This time the people interested are the COMx people. This is certainly a result of the Cardbus specification.

For those that don't know, Cardbus is the PCI specification, with some new connector spec (for small size), and some odd ball rules to make the Cardbus cards have a bit more PCMCIA character. In short though, Cardbus is basically just PCI. The address assignment stuff works the same, the PCI to PCI bridge stuff is the same. It is basically still the same.

We have already visited the ISA legacy software compatibility problem twice. First with the VGA adapters (which has a decent, mostly well planned, backword compatibility hack) for the old ISA standard. The second visit was with the IDE adapter type (or ATA-standard for those who speak ANSI). Here the old ISA addresses were hacked in as a "compatibility" mode. The devices can be configured in this mode, and generally are by the BIOS. If the Operating System has a wiz-bang driver, then sometimes the IDE device is reconfigured. For those of you with short memorys, this was (and still is) a simmering brooh-hah-hah with Microsoft, the PCI-SIG, and name throwers over the terrible job that the IDE guys did on the compatiblity hack. This was done while everyone else was asleep and not paying attention. Then Microsoft came along and proposed an additional hack to the already terrible IDE mega-mess and got flamed to death for it. They quietly shoosed off and did what they proposed, and pretty much stopped asking for input. Still, that ISA legacy hack was pretty terrible, involving the primary "ISA standard" ATA location, and the secondary "ISA standard" ATA location.

Those were pretty horrible hacks, but they DID have one unrelentingly true legitimizing factor behind them. Both the VGA and the IDE interfaces were considered essential for booting the platform. This was to get to an operating system. In order to do this, the code support base was in the BIOS, were it has always been on 80x86 platforms.

It would seem that we are about to attempt to set a new expansion of the currently accepted mess. We are talking about the other ISA legacy devices that have not currently gotten special treatement. Today's topic is the COMx ports. Tommorows will undoubtedly be the Parrellel interface, LPT ports. My favorite topic, which I am anticipating with great relish, is the Floppy disk controller. Also up for nomination will be the sound blaster cards, which in keeping with the MS-DOS, no-hardware abstraction model of has no abstraction. All of the game pretty much want to see something that looks like a Sound Blaster, at accepted Sound Blaster I/O addresses. All of these problems are really just a manifestation of the none existant services provided by MS-DOS, and the continuing use of MS-DOS for game software. There simply is no hardware abstraction, so when we hardware people want to change the hardware in any way, MS-DOS breaks.

Enough boring background.

I would say that there are really fundamentally only three courses of action on the legacy I/O problem.

1. Get together with all the other people who want to build devices like the one that you are trying to build. (In this case, a COM port device). Standardize a manner in which your device can be put into a legacy mode and then encourange the BIOS people to support your new standard. (This is what happened with the IDE adapters). Having your new standard, the OS people, such as Microsoft with Windows, Windows95, Windows NT, SCO UNIX, Novell Netware, IBM OS/2, Linux, Solaris, Unixware, ..... can implement correct driver support in a standard way. The initial devices that do not meet the standard will fall by the wayside, or have user needed configuration help. This is also the path that the IDE adapaters have gone or are going.

2. Forget about the MS-DOS market. Then you do not have to implement anything special. Your PCI adapter, modem, whatever, can just do whatever it wants. You need a driver for every OS, but that is the typical situation for a unique device. It would behoove the developer of a common device such as a modem to encourage all of the modem guys to get together and hammer out a standard memory mapping interface architecture. This way, after the PCI device was configured at some location, the programming interface relative to the location would be commonly known. Then you could probably get the OS manufacturer's to implement a single driver for this adopted standard. (The goal of all hardware guys, especially the commodity hardware people seems to be aimed at not employing any software people to write drivers. The only way to achieve this is to create a hardware standard. Then the OS people are usually willing to implement a single driver.) Otherwise you are going to be employing lots and lots of software guys writing drivers for each and every OS that you want to support. The OS people are not going to implement 100's of different drivers for you for free. (A historical note: The reason that much of the PC market is so successfull, with so much software is that all the initial PC clones were exactly that, clones. The hardware was defacto, so people wrote all kinds of software. If you do not recreate the conditions of only a few hardware device interfaces out there, you will never have the free software that you have grown accustomed to).

3. Build a device with a private "cheaters" decode system. In other words build compliant PCI device, but arm the device with the ability to turn on a legacy I/O decode for say, COMx. For new, cool, OS you would just use a driver aimed at your device. Or if you managed to create a hardware standard as outlined in #1 above, you could just use the standard OS driver. But for MS-DOS, you would load a very small driver into the system using config.sys or autoexec.bat and this driver would kick your hardware in the head, and enable the legacy decoding mode. For many devices, such as a Sound Blaster, this technique would probably work. For COM ports (and hence modems) it would probably fail because of the IRQ problem. The existing MS-DOS software is so close-minded, that it can only imagine that COM1 is at IRQ4 and COM2 at IRQ3. The IRQ problem has also plagued the PCI IDE adapters as well. The only solution really found so far to this IRQ problem has been to integrate the PCI IDE adapter into the motherboard chipsets. This way, they can get hold of IRQ 14 through a side band connection to the old ISA IRQ 14 edge triggred interrupt channel. (Not very PCI'ish, but what has in fact become the defacto standard for legacy IDE compatibility). That option is not really available to add-in cards such as modem cards or any CardBus type of card because they have no way to implement the side band private mechanisms into the ISA interrupt controller.

The bottom line for the legacy people is that the PCI specification made a lot of allowances for you already. The specification made provisions that would allow an ISA bridge to exist to handle hooking in existing ISA devices such as COM ports. No effort was made to allow the creation of PCI data path devices in an old legacy format. The entire idea of the PCI bus is for the old legacy mentality of fixed IRQ's, fixed I/O and fixed memory addresses to go away in favor of the new software configured mentality.

This means that if you are creating a NEW PCI device, you should be going to the trouble of creating NEW software to run your device. If you do not want to do that because of the obvious expense, then you have lots of other alternatives. The most obvious being to get together with your competitors and create a committe make a "standardized" COM device interface that fits into the PCI configuration mentality. When you do that, the OS people will smile upon you and almost definitely write the drivers for you. If you do not, then the drivers are going to be yours to write. If you come up with a standard, then nice actively supported current MS-DOS products are even going to put in support for the new "standardized" PCI "COM" device. There is just not anything that can be done about the existing software.

Its time for the PCMCIA and CardBus people get in touch with reality. You are either going to have to define NEW real PCI hardware standard to get OS people to write NEW software, OR you are going to have to write NEW software for your NEW hardware yourselves. There is no place for legacy I/O addressing and legacy IRQ assignments in PCI devices. The exceptions made for VGA and IDE were made for reasons of practicality and have left a bad taste in pratically everyone's mouth. Similar hacks could be made for COM and LPT devices that were to exist on the motherboard, but not for add-in boards. VGA succeeds because people got busy at the get go, and because VGA does not need an IRQ channel they succeeded in a legacy standard. IDE succeeded because the IDE interface is so simple that it could easily be integrated into the motherboard chipset components with special side band considerations for the IRQ channel. The rest of you legacy guys are out of luck. You should be spending your time figuring out how to create a NEW standard PCI COM device or modem device, not how to hack in legacy support to a 32 bit PCI data path for an old UART 8 bit interface.

I have to admit, that I am getting pretty tired of hearing about this legacy argument over and over again. Not as a personal attack, but more of a business attack on the future Cardbus adapter manufacturers and the legacy commodity product people trying to figure out how to build a 32bit brick, but get with it. If you don't, if it keeps going on much longer, people like myself are going to realize how non-visionary you are.

We are going to hire some decent hardware engineer to build a modem device with a PCI front end chip and some backend ASIC and write a bunch of simple OS drivers ourselves. We will create a standard while you stand around with your hands in your pockects and whine about legacy addresses. The standard will catch on and we will implement a single ASIC and put it into the trivial packaging needs of CardBus. The few OS that we have not written drivers for will implement their own for our defacto standard. We will succeed in the total vacuum of your inaction.

You will be crushed like tiny bugs.

In otherwords, quit complaining about how the execelent PCI bus does not support a 32 bit version of the horrible ISA bus. Get busy and create a new hardware standard interface (preferably a memory interface) for your new PCI compliant configurable device. Then ask the OS software people to write you some drivers or write them yourself. But do not expect that the hard fought software configurability of the PCI bus will be further corrupted by the perceived need to never ever write new COM software again.

Legacy devices are MEANT to die on the PCI bus and be supplanted by the NEW PCI compliant devices. Cardbus manufacturer's need to wake up to this reality.

-- "David O'Shea" <daveo at>

From: John R Pierce <pierce at>
Cc: <pci-sig at>
Subject: RE: PCI/Cardbus Modems
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 12:40:31 -0800

Only problem with this is that virtually ALL dos software has the device drivers compiled into the application as DOS didn't offer decent services for much other than file i/o. True, more and more of the PC world is moving towards Windows, NT, or other environments, but you'd be amazed how much legacy crudware is still in use!


PC Card Competitors:

the "Multimediacard (MMC)" 32x24x1.4 mm "Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, and Qualcomm have all committed to using the MMC format in future products." "Siemens and SanDisk are putting the MMC specification into the public domain" "The MMC is the smallest memory card on the market ... [to] fit inside a mobile phone." Interface:7 contact pads ("3-wire" serial: CMD, DATA., CLK) Speed: 20 Mbits/s at a 20 MHz clock (read); 1.6 Mbits/s (flash write) Voltage: 2 V to 3.6 V Power consumption: 20 mW at 20 MHz "Initial MMCs will be a single-chip $4 version holding 8 MBytes of ROM, and a 2-chip version with an interface controller and 8 MBytes of non-volatile FLASH." "Siemens will ... drive the capacity of the ROM version to 1 Gbit (128 MBytes) in 2001" "We have a PCMCIA adapter into which the MMC sits. The adapter does ... some logic to deserialize the data and make it look like a PCMCIA card to DOS, Windows, or Windows CE." -- from "Mini memory card targets mobile-telecom apps" article by Peter Clarke, p. 16, _EE Times_ 1997 Nov. 10

Q: Are there any RS-485 (9-Bit UART/250Kbps) PCMCIA devices available? -- Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 15:25:26 -0700 From: "Olson, Chris E" <chris.e.olson at> You could buy IBM's card that I list in my FAQ (excerpted below). The $399 price has probably fallen since the last time I checked. If it's the same as the one I remember, you plug it into a standard PCI slot, and mounted in the back bracket are 2 PC-card slots. It also has 2 more slots connected by a ribbon cable so you can mount those slots in a drive bay on the front panel.

Comm Con Connectors Inc. sells 0.050"x0.050" center PCMCIA-compatible headers. PCMCIA products.

See also PC-104 for another not-quite-as-small standard (but it can do things PCMCIA can't).

Mhotronics, a subdivision of Honda Connectors appears to sell the strange little connectors that connect a PC card to the outside world.

From: Mike Woodring <mwoodring at> To: <d.cary at> Subject: PCMCIA/CardBus Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 16:32:27 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Status: U David, I found your PC-Card FAQ very informative. We are about to begin designing a PC-Card device that has a Fast Ethernet port, V.34 modem, and public key encryption engine onboard. The DSP that is at the center of our design is able to select between using either a PCMCIA or PCI interface. Which is why before we begin our design, we must decide whether to make it a passive, PCMCIA device with limited throughput or a CardBus device (using a CardBus-PCI bridge -- can you recommend one?) that can become bus master. What we're trying to determine is how much of the PC-Card market right now can support CardBus? What will it be like by Q1/98? If you can't answer these questions, can you point me in the right direction? A web search didn't provide the answer. Thanks in advance for your help, Mike Woodring SW/HW Engineer IRE mwoodring at 410-933-5890 From: Mike Woodring <mwoodring at> To: <cary at> Subject: RE: PCMCIA/CardBus Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 08:38:19 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 The DSP that we're going to use is an ASIC of our own design. We started with an Analog Devices ADSP-2181 core and added a PCI core and a PCMCIA core from Virtual Chips. Of course, we added a public key hardware encryption block, since IRE is a leading network security company. You can find the product bulletin for our ASIC (CryptIC) at Yes, I realize that we can't use standard PCMCIA at the full 100BASET speed, but we could still connect to a 100BASET network and realistically use 20-30% of the bandwidth, still faster than 10BASET. The PC-Card site offers links to marketing reports that tell you about the PCMCIA-CardBus percentages. I was just looking for the information in the public domain without paying thousands of dollars for it. Thanks for responding, Mike Woodring SW/HW Engineer IRE mwoodring at 410-933-5890 >---------- >From: cary at >Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 1997 10:16 PM >To: Mike Woodring >Subject: Re: PCMCIA/CardBus > > >Dear Mike Woodring: > >>From: Mike Woodring <mwoodring at> >... >>I found your PC-Card FAQ very informative. > >I'm glad you liked it. > >> We are about to begin >>designing a PC-Card device that has a Fast Ethernet port >... >>The DSP that is at the center of our design is able to select between >>using either a PCMCIA or PCI interface. > >Interesting. Which DSP is this ? > >>before we begin >>our design, we must decide whether to make it a passive, PCMCIA device >>with limited throughput or a CardBus device (using a CardBus-PCI bridge >>-- can you recommend one?) that can become bus master. > >Correct me if I'm wrong here, but fast Ethernet has a bandwidth of 100 >Mbps, compared with the absolute theoretical maximum PC Card-16 bandwidth >of less than > 10M cycles/second * 16 bits/cycle = 160 Mbps (probably much less in >practice). And I doubt that you want your card taking over half of the >total bus time. > >This would almost force you to use CardBus. (Unless I'm missing something >obvious, which I often am). > >My understanding is that CardBus is (intended to be) exactly like the PCI >bus electrically, just packaged differently. Perhaps your DSP is already >CardBus compatible ? > >>What we're trying to determine is how much of the PC-Card market right >>now can support CardBus? What will it be like by Q1/98? > >I wish I knew. > >My machine has only PC Card-16, not Cardbus, but it's over 2 years old. > >I still don't know how to tell if the machines I see in stores and >advertisements can handle Cardbus or only PC Card-16. > >(I also wish i knew how to tell if a computer supports the full 4 Mbps IrDA >1.1 or only the 115 Kbps IrDA 1.0. I remember asking a salesclerk which of >the 2 a HP desktop box with a obvious red lens on the front supported, and >he admitted that there was empty space behind that lens -- if you wanted >IrDA, you had to buy a serial adapter seperately and put it in that space). > >>If you can't answer these questions, can you point me in the right >>direction? A web search didn't provide the answer. > >Have you already looked at the Official PCMCIA web site, > >? > >I'm assuming you know how to get my FAQ directly off my web site. It's >starting to go stale, but it's still the most recent version I have (better >than old news postings). It's been many months since someone asked me to >update it. > >... >>Mike Woodring >>SW/HW Engineer >>IRE >>mwoodring at >>410-933-5890 > >David Cary "" "" >Future Tech, Unknowns, PCMCIA, digital hologram, <*> O- > > >

"PCMCIA Type II Extender from TWD Electronics (719-634-8187)" ?

Greystone Peripherals sells cards that plug into a desktop machine, that have a PCMCIA socket mounted on it. With enough of their equipment, you can simultaneously plug up to 4 PCMCIA cards into the same desktop machine. (Allows you to use PCMCIA peripherals with a desktop machine). ???

...(keyboard, mouse, serial, : parallel) there is a company that sells a 6 function PCMCIA card and an : IDE PCMCIA card. There web page is:: ???

Q: Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 16:27:52 -0400 From: John Robinson <Johnmrobinson at> Organization: jw41mbD00 - Lucent Technologies MIME-Version: 1.0 To: d.cary at Subject: ISA board plugged into Laptop David, Maybe you can help by posing this question on your FAQ page (or any news groups that you know dedicated to PCMCIA). We have a requirement to use an ISA bus card in a Laptop. Whilst it seems several people manufacture boxes that allow you to connect PC cards to Desktops, I haven't been able to find anyone who does the reverse. The ISA Bus card we are using is an old model, and the manufacturer isn't interested in converting it to PCMCIA, since they don't sell enough of them to make it worth their while. Although some Laptops have docking stations, these reduce the portability that we are hoping to gain. Also, some of our more recent Laptops are not available with Docking Stations. Any suggestions ?

A: I hear that IBP sells a PCMCIA to ISA Interface that lets you use up to 3 ISA cards with a laptop. If you look at you will know as much as I do.

Subject: Re: ISA card? From: "Kelly Ace Gomas" <KAGomas at [SpamNoMore]> Date: 1997/12/05 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops I've been looking for this too. Just so you don't think you're crazy: Here is a quote on the workings of PCMCIA "......How does PCMCIA work? There are four basic sections of PCMCIA support: the card, the socket/adapter, the Card Information Structure (CIS), and the system software. The PCMCIA card is plugged into a standard host socket either connected to the motherboard of the system or the systemís expansion bus. This socket is a 68-pin interface which connects the card to the system through an adapter. The adapter translates signals from the PCMCIA interface to ISA (or any other) bus standards and allocates hardware resources to the card based on inputs from the software layers........ " Here is a universal docking station with so much capability I wonder if it all works for $499 (a bit pricey, but cheaper than a regular docking station - new) Miram XB1000 is a similar product. dont know the price. BTW the prices may have gone down. Perhaps your quest is something like mine. "Have a favorite ISA card I would like to connect to PCMCIA" I'm far from an engineer but the description above says this can be done. -- Don't forget to remove [SpamNoMore] to reply. Kelly Ace Gomas McAllen, Texas Laca wrote in message <663sbn$7ei$>... >I have a big problem. I have a program, that use a special ISA card. How can >connek this car to my notebook? Is imprtant to my to be portable. Please >send me your ideas: . Thanx > >

Subject: Connecting ISA Cards via PCMCIA slot From: (Jason Soon) Date: 1998/01/13 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops Hi everyone, I noticed quite a few posts asking for info. regarding such a device. I just received a newsletter called "Electronic Product News/Asia" and one of the featured products do just that: Namely letting you connect 3 ISA cards to your Laptop PC via the PCMCIA slot. Contact info of the company: IBP GmbH, Kurze Kamp Str 1a, 30659 Hanover, Germany, Tel. +49-511-651647 Fax. +49-511-652283 Standard Disclaimer(s): I do not work for this company. I am just passing this info. along out of goodwill. I am not responsible for any incorrect info. presented. Please do not contact me for more info. regarding this company, as I have not dealt with them before. ----------------------------------------------------- If 1.732 is the square-"root" of a "tree", then "love" must be the "cube" of one's heart. ---- Jason Soon --- jasonsoon at hotmail dot com ----

It should be cheaper to buy a laptop with a built-in ISA slot, like Dolch

Subject: Re: pcmcia to isa adapter From: Virgil at (Virgil Smith)Date: 1998/04/28 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia >I need to use 2 pcmcia to isa adapters for my final graduation project, >because I need to use two I'm going to work with wireless network >pc-cards on desktop computers.> >Does anyone has a arquithecture diagram for a pcmcia-isa bridge? >What are the most common suppliers?>>Thanks in advance. Your message is a little confusing. Do you need a PCMCIA to ISA bridge so that you can hang multiple ISA cards off of a single PCMCIA card, or do you need an ISA to PCMCIA bridge so that you can hang PCMCIA cards off of an ISA card? Do you need to design one or do you just wish to obtain one? If you just want to obtain an ISA to PCMCIA bridge so that you can use PCMCIA cards in a desktop machine (this is commonly referred to as a Card Dock) then check the following sites

Subject: rugged laptop with ISA From: yruan at (Yuxin Ruan)Date: 1997/07/02 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops Hi, I am looking for a few rugged portable machines with decent computing power, ISA slot. Touch screen woul be really nice to have as well. Some diggin on web lead me to the 7000 serise from It seem to good in most aspect, except weight and lack of touch screen. Battary life is no problem for we have external power supply, and external battary pack for backup. So, if you have a better suggestion, or have experice(both positive and negative) with field-works' machine, please send email to yruan2@vertex.ucls.uchicago Thanks Yuxin--

Subject: Re: pcmcia to isa adapter? From: bjorn at (Bjorn Kristiansen) Date: 1997/12/08 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia [More Headers][Subscribe to alt.periphs.pcmcia] On there is another PCMCIA to ISA adapter. The text is in sweedish only and I have not found any prize on the two types. Bjorn Kristiansen Gjovik, Norway

notebook computer torture tests

Subject: Re: pcmcia to isa adapter? From: "Kelly Ace Gomas" <KAGomas at [SpamNoMore]> Date: 1997/12/05 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia I've been looking for this too. Just so you don't think you're crazy: Here is a quote on the workings of PCMCIA"......How does PCMCIA work? There are four basic sections of PCMCIA support: the card, the socket/adapter, the Card Information Structure (CIS), and the systemsoftware. The PCMCIA card is plugged into a standard host socket either connected to the motherboard of the system or the systemís expansion bus. This socket is a 68-pin interface which connects the card to the system through an adapter. The adapter translates signals from the PCMCIA interface to ISA (or any other) bus standards and allocates hardware resources to the card based on inputs from the software layers........ " Here is a universal docking station with so much capability I wonder if it all works for $499 (a bit pricey, but cheaper than a regular docking station - new) Miram XB1000 is a similar product. dont know the price. BTW the prices may have gone down.Perhaps your quest is something like mine. "Have a favorite ISA card I would like to connect to PCMCIA" I'm far from an engineer but the description above says this can be done.-- Don't forget to remove [SpamNoMore] to reply. Kelly Ace GomasMcAllen, Texas didier aubree wrote in message <>...>Hello,> >I want to use ISA cards with a notebook,>do you know an PCMCIA/ISA adapter?> >(like product...)>>Jack

Getac sells a "notebook computer with one expansion slot for one 3/4 size ISA card or two PC 104 cards "

Subject: Is a PCMCIA to ISA adapter feasible? From: Rick Meyer <rickmeyer at> Date: 1997/08/06 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups: alt.periphs.pcmcia We make an ISA card for protocol analysis that many customers want to use with notebook computers, which have no ISA slots. Eventually we will design a PCMCIA card version of our product. In the meantime, does a Type III slot have the speed and signals, such that a ISA expansion bus card could be built that provides external ISA slots? If this is feasible, is anyone building such a product?

I've heard rumors that one of the WinBook notebook computers has a docking station that lets you plug in 2 ISA cards, but I've been unable to confirm this rumor.

I've heard rumors that the Gateway Solo 2100 and 2200 have docking stations which includes isa/pci slots

my card services library has now been released > >with source (and all for free) and details can be had at > >

Hitachi FLASH PC Cards (both linear and ATA)

$14.50 (in 10 000s) PCI1450 PCI-bus-to-CardBus controller "Hot insertion and removal of CardBus or PC Card modules is supported" from Texas Instruments Inc.

Sandisk Corp. sells "CompactFlash" cards, PC Cards, and "multiMedia" cards that contain flash memory.

$7.87 (in "volume") IS25M041A 512 KByte Serial Flash Modules (SFMs) use a $6.56 (in "volume") IS25F041A 4 Mbit serial flash TSOP chip. Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (1999 ?) Extremely tiny.

$6.90 M29Wxxx 4 Mbit flash memories (require 2.7 to 3.6 V for program, erase and read ops) SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Inc.

Kaitek Engineering sells extender cards for PCMCIA, CardBus, PCI Local Bus, CompactPCI.

Sparcom Corp ??? supposedly helps port applications to PC Cards for handheld organizers.

_Card Technology_ voice: 312-913-1334 is supposedly a trade journal on smart cards, PCMCIA, etc.

Sycard Technology has collected some useful-looking Links for PC Card Developers

AuraVision Corp. apparently sells the VxP951 card-side CardBus interface chip.

Zilog PCMCIA Products

smart cards are different from PCMCIA cards.

Mike Masters asks, "I am looking for a PCMCIA video card that supports multiple monitors (for an IBM Thinkpad running NT4.0). I have been searching around on the Internet and have found several video capture devices, but no video cards. Is there such a thing as a PCMCIA video card?"

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