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Mini-PCIe vs Mini-PCI: What’s the difference?

Mini PCI v Mini PCIe Cards

Mini PCIe vs Mini PCI, Mini Cards are a convenient, versatile and low cost solution for adding additional interfaces to an Embedded System. Popularised in Laptop Computers they now have a home in Embedded Systems providing very compact expansion solution. The two common formats are Mini-PCI and Mini-PCIe with M.2 rapidly gaining in popularity. These mini cards provide a simple means of adding additional interfaces to a system. Adapters are available to allow Mini-PCI and Mini-PCIe cards to be installed into a full size PCI or PCIe slot.

What is a Mini-PCI card?

As its name implies, a Mini-PCI card has a PCI interface which generally feeds into a PCI device on the module. This can provide peripherals such as:

  • Network AdaptersMiniPCI GPS Module MiniPCI WiFi module
  • Serial Ports
  • GPS
  • Frame Grabber



What is a Mini-PCIe card?

Mini-PCIe or Mini-PCI Express cards were more recently introduced and replace Mini-PCI in newer applications. A Mini-PCIe module has a single PCIs lane which provides a simpler yet more powerful interface. PCIe modules are available in two sizes, full size (length) and half size. Many industrial motherboards offer one, two or more Mini-PCIe slots. Within the specification of Mini-PCIe are a number of interface pins that are used for other purposes. For example USB is generally available and is often used for 3G Modems, 4G Modems or GPS. Other pins are defined for use with a SIM card for a GSM Modem.

The range of cards is quite extensive including:-

  • Network adaptors MiniPCIe Video Capture module  MiniPCIe RS232 module
  • Frame grabbers
  • Video capture and compression
  • 3G and 4G modems

Later Developments: M.2 vs Mini PCIe vs Mini PCI

More recently the M.2 specification was introduces initially as a replacement for mSATA modules but is now becoming popular in a number of different applications. The M.2 specification amongst other things provides up to four PCI Express lanes and one logical SATA 3.0 interface.  The possibilities are enormous and we are gradually seeing new products being released. A Mini PCIe to M.2 adaptor is available.

Mini PCIe vs Mini PCI

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Here’s a selection of our design, manufacturing

& associated services: –


Design to Order: OEM/ODM Embedded Product Design Services

For customers designing a brand-new product from scratch or working with an existing prototype.DesignToOrder

  • FREE Pre-design / Pre-sales advise
  • Prototyping – Custom PC Design, Custom Panel PC, Custom Racks or Custom Peli Case PC
  • Prototyping pre checks (chargeable one-time fee for existing prototype)
    • Hardware compatibility
    • Thermal testing
    • Software compatibility
  • Custom PCB / Board Design
  • Custom Chassis Design
  • Custom Cables
  • Custom Back Panels and Faceplates
  • Custom Cooling
  • Custom Metal Work (internal brackets, mounting brackets)
  • Touchscreen Integration and Display Enhancements
  • Software – Custom OS Image

Build to Order: Embedded System Integration and Customisation Services​

Take an existing system and we can:BuildToOrder

  • Custom specification (CPU, Ram, I/O, Storage)
  • Chassis customisation and branding
  • Custom BIOS
  • Software – Custom OS Image
  • Custom Packaging and branding
  • Integrating newly designed or existing hardware into a larger system

Build to order Racks and Towers, Peli Case PCs and SFF Mini ITX PCs

Windows IoT and Windows 10 Embedded: Integration and Embedded Software Services

Porting, Integration & DeploymentEmbeddedSoftware

  • Windows image capture from customers HDD
  • Linux image capture from customers HDD
  • Windows / Linux Deployment from customers image
  • Custom Windows images, create and deploy
  • Update management
  • Custom Linux and Android images?
  • Custom BIOS

Quite often, we’re the manufacturer behind the solutions you know

Whether we’re utilising our own manufacturing & production facilities here in Southampton – or our ecosystem of partners in Asia, BVM can cope with any size or complexity of batch manufacturing. Our production team are highly motivated with a flexible “can do” attitude ensuring consistent quality and on-time delivery.