The ExpressCard 2.0 format is nearing completion, the PCMCIA trade group has announced. The existing format is a popular means of expansion on notebooks, such as Apple's MacBook Pro; the updated edition will be based on both the USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 standards, and should be substantially faster, achieving two to 10 times the speeds of ExpressCard 1.x. This will make it better suited to storage functions, such as connecting flash memory or SATA II drives. Systems with ExpressCard 2.0 slots will remain compatible with v1.x peripherals.
A variety of companies have already announced their intention to support v2.0, including Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Lexar, LG, Microsoft, Sony and Toshiba, among others. A finalized version of the standard should be ready in early 2009, but no products are expected until 2010, when USB 3.0 is due to premiere as well.