CardBus is the 32-Bit version of PC Card technology. Enabled in the February 1995 release of the PC Card Standard (and generally available in systems built in 1997 or later), CardBus allows speeds of up to 133 Mbps at 33MHz. CardBus cards are not backward-compatible to 16-bit hosts, however, 16-bit cards are compatible with most CardBus hosts.

When viewing the PC Card right side up, the area above the 68-pin connector on a CardBus card will have a gold grounding shield strip across it, typically with 8 small metal bumps (see photo below). This strip is necessary to prevent signal noise from interfering with CardBus' high speed (33 Mhz) bus. These CardBus cards can only be used with CardBus slots -- they are keyed to prevent insertion into 16-bit slots so that the card and the slot won't be damaged by differing voltage requirements. 16-bit cards work in either type of slot, but CardBus cards only work in CardBus slots.



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