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PCMCIA Card Connector

Technical Description:

The pins in current PC Card host interface connectors are easily bent due to the lack of support for the pins. These connectors are often located permanently fixed to host system boards in hard to reach unserviceable areas of the host platForm. The new connector design supports the interface pins as they are inserted into a card, thereby reducing the potential for pin damage and host platform waste. This will greatly reduce the overhead costs involved in the use of PC Cards.

The current host side connector called for by the PC Card Standard is a "U" shaped device containing "C" shaped guides along the sides of the "U" and 68 pins protruding up from the base of the "U" towards the center. The guide rails along the side of the "U" are designed to hold the card in alignment as it is inserted into the "U" towards the pins at the base. The pins at the base protrude upward in three different lengths depending on pin function: power pins- 5.0 mm; signal pins- 4.25 mm; detect pins- 3.5 mm. Except for the ejector mechanism, which is used to force cards out of the connector, there are no moving or movable parts in the design. With this configuration, alignment of the card as it is inserted into the connector is entirely based on how tight the tolerances are on the dimensions of both the card and the guide rails of the connector. Additionally, the 68 pins are free standing in the connector, i.e. they have no support along their 3.5 to 5.0 mm length. A patent was filed on June 12, 1997, Serial No. 08/873723.

Commercial Application:

All connector manufacturers that produce connectors for PCMCIA Cards.

Patent Status:

Issued: United States Patent Number 5860828 (Updated)

Reference Number: Conn-2

If you are interested in exploring this technology further, please call 443-445-7159 or express your interest in writing to the:

National Security Agency
NSA Technology Transfer Program
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6541
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755-6541


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15 2009