Mini PCI

What is Mini PCI?

Mini PCI refers to an interface standard. It is actually a division of the original PCI, or Peripheral Component Interconnect, interface. It is small in size and measures just 2.75 inches by 1.81 inches by 0.22 inches.

Understanding Mini PCI

Understanding Mini PCI

The Mini PCI is actually a division of the PCI interface, but it comes in a much smaller form factor.

It can support only 3.3 volts and data transfer in 32 bits.

The small size of it as well as its lower requirements allow the manufacturers to make it cheap. It also allows for making the design of the motherboards much simpler.

Glue logic is not used in making the Mini PCI because it is designed to be a single-chip interface bus.

The pinout of this particular bus is also smaller than that of a normal PCI bus, which is another significant reason why it cannot be used in desktop computers.

This standard also follows the parallel PCI bus standard, which is quite different from the Express PCI bus standard.

Available in different types, each of them comes with different features and functionalities, such as:

Ideally, the Mini PCI can be rightfully called the laptop version of the original Peripheral Component Interconnect interface. This 32-bit bus can operate at 32 MHz.

However, this particular specification uses the same signal set as the PCI but does not support 5 volts or 64 bits, and it also does not support the Joint Test Action Group, or JTAG, interface.

Mini PCI vs Mini PCIe

Questions & Answers:

What Does It Do?

The Mini PCI acts as the interface between different peripheral devices, such as the network adapters used in laptop computers, and helps in transferring data between them.

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Where is Mini PCI Used?

Due to the small size of the Mini PCI interface, it is used mainly in notebooks and laptop computers. It is also used in small network adapters, HDTVs, DVD players, and other smaller devices.

How Many Pins Does It Have?

There are typically two different pinout configurations for the connector according to the Mini PCI specification: one for Type I and Type II, and the other for the third type.

The Type I and Type II variants of Mini PCI especially have 100 pins, but the Type III has 124 pins, where the latter can accept a larger board with fingers or a card edge.


Mini PCI is a subset of the original PCI interface and serves the same purpose but in a much lower capacity.

The lower capability of this interface does not allow using it in larger systems or in complex applications.

Still, this interface is quite useful for notebooks, laptop computers, network adapters, and others.