What new Expansion Card types do you want to see released?

New Expansion Cards
  • High Fidelity Audio Output
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Full-size SD Card
  • VGA
  • miniDisplayPort
  • Microcontroller
  • LED Matrix

0 voters

Let us know what new cards would be most interesting. We can also add more options to the poll.

7 Likes

Want multiple type-c in 1 Expansion Card

25 Likes

@Hiroyoshi_Mori that is a great one. We actually did start developing a 2 port USB-C card. The receptacles physically fit, but not all of the circuitry that would allow for power input and output and display output to both ports. We are still working through this though, and expect that with new silicon being released in the future we will be able to make this work :slight_smile:

30 Likes

Would love to see Multi-Gig Ethernet 10/5/2.5/1 :heart:

21 Likes

How about dual ports of other types.
Mainly, with a USB C and anything else that fits. It’s hard to tell for certain by the pictures, but it appears that a USB C port might fit on the same card alongside USB A or Micro SD at least. It looks like DisplayPort, HDMI, or Ethernet might be too big to fit alongside.
It looks like some other things may fit, such as a SD and Micro SD reader together or 2 USB A ports.

10 Likes

I’m very interested in the microcontroller option if it has good GPIO, one annoying thing resulting from the death of the parallel port is not being able to hook stuff up directly to your computer.

I’m seconding the “usb c/a combo” suggestion if it’s possible to fit both on one card, I think it would be a good compromise if you can’t do two USB Cs on one card.

8 Likes
  1. a dual port card (a/a, or c/c) would be amazing, even if they don’t support USB4 but just basic usb 3 and normal USB power lvls
    Edit: normal power levels as in 5V/1A or there about. High speed/power aren’t needed when hooking up a mouse or controller

  2. Some sort of serial interface, maybe with 3.3V power. Would be amazing when doing hardware development and troubleshooting in the shop/field

4 Likes

That would be super interesting, but currently won’t fit within the form factor, mostly due to the combination of the receptacle itself and the magnetics and silicon required. We’ve been able to find some very compact magnetics and receptacles for regular Gigabit though, so that should be possible. Potentially in the future though!

The card is 30mm wide, and much of that is taken up by the rails in internal structure to make it robust and hot-swappable. Dual MicroSD or MicroSD+SD may be possible. The others likely wouldn’t fit. It’s surprising how much space receptacles take up mechanically for mounting and signal routing compared to their actual physical opening size.

Yea! We’re super excited about this one too. We have a prototype with 10 pins broken out (2 of which are power). We’re finalizing the spec on this one though.

The Microcontroller Expansion Card prototype we developed actually does have UART and i2c broken out to the edge along with 3.3V power.

10 Likes

Not sure if it would fit, or if it is too complicated, but a module you can open with a mini pcie sled with a front face that has sma to ufl connections.

If it was generic it maybe could be three sma to support different 4g/5g modem, sdr, lora modules, wifi cards, as well as some custom mpcie form factor boards.

Otherwise maybe a punch out or swappable front face for the module?

Alternatively it could be specialized modules one for each type.

I’ll certainly be happy to just use one of the usb expansion ports for all of the above, but it would be pretty cool to have them as modules.

5 Likes

I’ve seen laptops that use a “folded up” ethernet jack, when needed the lower portion is folded down to accept a normal sized rj45

Edit: 20190305172019_58314

11 Likes

I have very little experience with this, so I have no idea how viable it is, but how about a SIM card slot? Allowing for 4G maybe even 5G connections.

15 Likes

The audio interface would also be a great addition if you ask me! My guess would be that you will go with jack i/o ? If so please make a difference by making them as sturdy and robust as you possibly can! Too bad MIDI connectors are to big to fit in the modules …

2 Likes

A cellular Expansion Card is definitely an interesting one.

Based on the card dimensions, it will need to be a 3.5mm jack for audio, but we would certainly make it robust!

3 Likes

Sim card expansion would be great. Would greatly help me from draining my Phone battery while using as a WiFi-hotspot.

9 Likes

+1 for the cellular expansion card for me

Other ideas that could interesting IMO:

  • A PCIe / mSATA slot as suggested above. Even if it sticks out a bit if needed?
  • Maybe a bit too specific but one thing that sounds possible with this and I would like is a simple USB-A port going slightly inside the laptop, so we could leave all kind of small dongles like logitech unifying on without them raising out of the laptop, or even an “internal” USB port with a closable plastic lid so the receiver is hidden inside and the laptop appears flat and port-less.
  • And finally, a video INPUT card (HDMI and/or USB-C) where we could plug some video emitting device like a digital camera, a console, etc… for streaming or just to use the screen as a display, like this kind of thing.

Of course these may be too low volume to implement but if the system is open enough maybe third-party could do them?

19 Likes

As mentioned before, USB-A port that will be going slightly deeper, to hide wireless dongles would be very nice idea. This will prevent from breaking USB port when carrying a laptop. Also separate microphone and speaker audio jacks on one card might be interesting expansion card. But anyways, ethernet jack is the most important card IMO.

5 Likes

It would be interesting to see a fingerprint sensor that can be used to authenticate with the OS. So rather than having a lump sticking out of a USB port, it can be flush.

Ideally supporting Windows Hello and FIDO/U2F so it can support multiple OS and browsers.

2 Likes

We have a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader built into the power button. We’ve done a little exploration on whether we can support FIDO2 as well, but nothing conclusive.

5 Likes

Nice I had missed that feature. Is that supported by any of the Linux distros that are tested?

I guess the webcam doesn’t have the IR features for the facial recognition version of Windows Hello.

1 Like

The fingerprint sensor we use has a Linux driver. We’re working on making sure it works smoothly in common distros and is possible to get working in other ones.

9 Likes