Expansion Card

Expansion Card

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An expansion card, also known as an expansion board, adapter card, or accessory card, is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot of a computer motherboard or backplane to add functionality to a computer system via the expansion bus.

Expansion cards can be used to obtain or expand on features not offered by the motherboard. For example, expanding the capabilities of the computer to control and interact with additional peripherals, or increasing memory, networking, and processing capacity.

Here are some types of expansion cards:

  1. Graphics Cards: Also known as a video card, a graphics card generates output images to a display.
  2. Sound Cards: Also known as an audio card, a sound card processes audio information and outputs sound to audio devices such as speakers and headphones.
  3. Network Cards: Also known as a network interface card (NIC), a network card enables a computer to connect to a network, such as a local area network (LAN) or the Internet.
  4. Modem Cards: A modem card allows a computer to transmit data over telephone or cable lines.
  5. Storage Cards: These can provide a computer with extra storage, or with a connector for storage devices that the motherboard doesn’t provide.
  6. TV Tuner Cards: These can allow a computer to receive television signals, essentially turning the computer into a television set.

The type of expansion cards that can be used in a computer depends on the expansion slots provided on the motherboard. Older computers typically used PCI or ISA slots, while modern computers use PCI Express (PCIe) slots. The specific slot dictates not only the physical size and layout of the card, but also the kind of signals and data rates the card and the motherboard can use to communicate.

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