The Advantages of Mini PCIe

Mini PCIe Card - Acropack Digital IO

The Mini PCIe, which is sometimes referred to as mPCIe or PCI Express Mini Card, is the newer form factor of PCI Express.  Defence, Defence Researchers and manufacturers of Rugged and MIL-STD items have taken an interest in this standard.  This is because the Mini PCIe provides both the standard PCI Express and USB 2.0 Signals but it is also contains a shock and vibration resistance element.

Acromag, manufacturers of Embedded I/O and Processing Solutions, offer AcroPack®.  The AcroPack® product line updates their popular Industry Pack I/O Modules with a mPCIe interface format.  This tech-refreshed design offers a smaller size, lower cost but the same functionality as the existing Industry Pack Modules in a more rugged form factor.

Key features of AcroPack Mini PCie I/O Series are:

  1. Small Size 70mm x 30mm enabling it fit in confined spaces such as Rugged Workstations, Embedded Computers and Industrial PC’s.
  2. Weight 14 grams on average.
  3. Power uses less than 5 watts per module
  4. Cost starting from USD$395
  5. Snap onto Carrier Cards and therefore eliminates the cables on the board.
  6. Ready for Extreme Temperatures -40° to 70° C Operating Temperature with optional Air Cooled or Conduction Cooled versions available.

At the moment, there are 33 AcroPack® I/O Modules – analog, digital, FPGA, Counters/Timers, Ethernet Networking, Serial Communications, Avionics & CAN Bus.  Plus, 14 Acropack® Carrier Cards in the following form factors: PCIe, VPX, CompactPCI Serial, SFF Mini-ITX, XMC Mezzanine.  You can mix and match up to 4 I/O functions per carrier card.

These extra modules and interfaces reduce the products time to market.  Some Defence applications in which the AcroPack® Carrier Cards and I/O Modules have been used in include:


  1. Aircraft Test System using APCe7040 4-Slot Carrier with different I/O, FPGA and Serial Communication Systems per slot.
  2. Aircraft Ground Support System as a replacement of a VME System using VPX4520 and 4 x AP Modules
  3. Naval Mine Sweeper Product incorporating ACEX4041 and isolated digital I/O, RS-232, RS-485

Finally, Metromatics sell, support and service the Acromag Product range including AcroPack in Australia and New Zealand.  Should you require any further information, contact us.

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