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Rear-installable PCI architecture for Home - use PCs, with LED connection indicators

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028803D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jun-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jun-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method by which PCs designed by home use can gain extra usability in the area of PCI card replacement, and users can detect bad cards through a status LED.

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Rear-installable PCI architecture for Home - use PCs, with LED connection indicators

For anybody without experience of "operating" on computers, to be required to completely open up their PC, worrying about the ESD complications that this brings, is daunting. The aim of the PCI expansion architecture is to provide additional capabilities to the PC the card is installed in, but there is scope to make this a more user-friendly task by making a non-invasive insertion method for said expansion cards.

    In addition once the cards (and in this case RAM, too) have been located, there is no easy way to determine whether the DIMM/PCI card is correctly installed without deciphering the POST beeps the motherboard makes when first powered-on.

    By modifying the PCI/AGP interface with the motherboard, and supplying an appropriately designed case, PCI cards could be effectively installed from the rear of the machine, without the need for opening the case of the computer and exposing the circuits inside to ESD damage, accidental cable disconnection and other forms of damage through a direct, invasive installation of hardware. Cards that are faulty can be easily located by installing a status LED routed to the back panel, and then swapped out and replaced easily by even those without in-depth computer upgrade skills.

Plan View

PCI/AGP interface With motherboard

Motherboard

Rear Case Assembly Elevation of interface

Snap-Jaw assembly

Trigger

Expansion board

Elevation of Rear Case assembly

PCI/AGP interface on motherboard

Plastic Locator, only one Removable Plastic Insert

side shown for clarity

Slot for PCI/AGP cards to locate in

    The modification to the current PCI/AGP slot is quite simple at an initial level. The idea calls for the removal of the end nearest the insertion point so as to allow the card to be inserted from the back panel of the case. This requires a change in assembly from the current standard of an open slot, namely in making the space bigger in order to fit the card through. There would also be a need for some plastic assembly, in order to guide the card into position and hold it in place once inserted.

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Given the design of the metal plate on existing expansion cards which features an L-shaped metal plate mounted at one end (Designed to screw the card into position

on most cases on the market), the Stub-end of that plate would need to locate through an opening which would add the benefit to the design of, giving the card some initial stability. A clip could the snap into position over that section, locking the card into place, or a screw depending on the practicalities of space available. The idea is that the card is easier to insert in this manner than through opening the case in the first place. More stability can be introduced by making rails that guide the card through the slot. One is shown on the diagram although it would in actual fact require two to allow the...