SuperSpeed USBWireless USBOriginal USBHi-Speed USBOn-The-Go USBHi-Speed On-The-Go USB gray vertical line Express Card
Home > Developers > ExpressCard > ExpressCard Compliance

ExpressCard Compliance Program Overview


- Register for the Compliance Program
- Compliance Program Process
- Listed Third Party Test Houses (for Interoperability Testing)
- Compliance Program Coverage
- Compliance Program FAQ


The USB-IF has developed the ExpressCard Compliance Program in order to assure compliance and interoperability in products using the ExpressCard logo. In order to participate in the ExpressCard Compliance Program, the company must be a USB-IF Vendor ID owner. ExpressCard products that pass the Compliance Program may be added to the USB-IF Integrators list, and the member company earns the right to obtain a license to use the ExpressCard Logo on the compliant product, product packaging and product promotional material.

Compliance Program Registration

The USB-IF is working to add all certified ExpressCard products to the USB-IF Integrators list. We expect this change to occur in the coming weeks. We are currently updating our website database to allow ExpressCard vendors to register their product for testing. During this transitional period please email admin@usb.org if you are interested in registering your product for testing. In your email, please provide your completed checklists and indicate which test lab you wish to test your product.:

Important Note for Module Vendors:
Eligible Module Products - Presently the USB-IF's ExpressCard Compliance Program for modules is based upon the premise that the module (including any connected features that ship with the module) encompasses either a PCI Express or USB-based function, and that the silicon implementation of that function has successfully passed the respective PCI-SIG or USB-IF device-level compliance requirements. If an ExpressCard module product as sold does not fully contain a PCI Express or USB-based function, we cannot accept an application for ExpressCard-level compliance for that product.

PCI Express/USB Components - As part of the ExpressCard Compliance Checklist, the primary component driving USB and/or PCI Express signals must be compliant per the USB-IF and/or PCI-SIG respectively. Please be prepared to provide the compliant component ID at the time you submit your checklist. If the component is not currently compliant, please urge your component vendor to obtain compliance with the USB-IF or PCI-SIG at this time as your module cannot  receive a global pass and be listed on the USB-IF Integrators list without a USB-IF or PCI-SIG compliant component. Additionally, the module connector must have an TID (Compliance ID) (please see the ExpressCard Resource Directory for a list of compliant connectors.)

Important for Host System Vendors:
As part of the ExpressCard Compliance Checklist, the primary component driving USB and PCI Express signals must be compliant per the USB-IF and PCI-SIG respectively. Please be prepared to provide the compliant component ID at the time you submit your checklist. If the component is not currently compliant, please urge your component vendor to obtain compliance with the USB-IF and PCI-SIG at this time as your host system cannotreceive a global pass and be listed on the USB-IF Integrators list without a USB-IF and PCI-SIG compliant component. Additionally, the host connector must have an ExpressCard Compliance ID (please see the ExpressCard Resource Directory for a list of compliant connectors.)

Compliance Process

1. Register your product into the Compliance Program

  • To register your product for testing your company must be a USB-IF vendor or member company.
    • For USB-IF member Companies, please login to the USB-IF members website at www.usb.org/members. To register your product for testing go to My Account > Compliance Summary> Add a Product. Please input your product information and select the certified test lab of your choice from the drop down menu. An email notification will be sent directly to the lab and a TID will be assigned to your product once the test lab has officially accepted your product for testing.  
    • For USB-IF vendor companies, please have the primary USB-IF representative for your company login to the USB-IF vendor area at www.usb.org/vendors. To register the product for testing they will need to go to My Account > Compliance Summary> Add a Product. Please input the product information and select the certified test lab of your choice from the drop down menu. An email notification will be sent directly to the lab and a TID will be assigned to your product once the test lab has officially accepted your product for testing.  

2. Complete self-administered checklist for product

  • Designed to ensure product meets the ExpressCard Standard
  • Checklists exist for four product categories (Host, Module, Power Switch, Host/Module Connector). Please see the checklist section below to download the appropriate checklists.

3. Perform Interoperability and Signal Quality Testing

  • To be completed by a USB-IF Certified Third Party Test House.
  • Please note that ExpressCard Interoperability Events are no longer being scheduled.

4. Apply for license to use ExpressCard logo

  • License may be obtained once submitted Compliance Checklist is approved (all products) and Interoperability testing (hosts and modules only) is passed
  • Product may use the ExpressCard logo in accordance with License and Logo Usage Guidelines

5. Once the checklists and test results have been verified your product will receive a global pass and be listed on the USB-IF Integrators list.

 

Compliance Checklist

The Compliance Checklist consists of a questionnaire and a set of tests to be completed by the manufacturer. System and components covered include:

  • Modules
  • Host Systems
  • Internal PCI Express Cable Assembly
  • Slot Power Switch
  • Connectors

Manufacturers may greatly simplify their compliance testing process by using compliant components such as connectors and power switches.

ExpressCard Compliance Checklist 1.2 Revision 1
Release 1.2 Revision 1 of the ExpressCard Compliance Checklist should be used and submitted with product designed to the ExpressCard Standard Release 1.2.

ExpressCard Interoperability Checklist 1.1
Release 1.1 of the ExpressCard Interoperability Checklist should be used in all Interoperability testing, both at Interoperability Events and through Listed Third Party Test Houses. Release 1.1 illustrates a more detailed Interoperability Testing procedure than Release 1.0 of the Interoperability Checklists, but can be used with product designed to both Release 1.0 and Release 1.1 of the ExpressCard Standard.

ExpressCard Mandatory Equipment List 1.0
The ExpressCard Mandatory Equipment List (commonly referred to as the "Gold Suite") details the equipment -- ExpressCard modules for Host System Interoperability testing and ExpressCard Host Systems for Module Interoperability testing -- that are required to be used by Third Party Test Houses in ExpressCard Interoperability testing.

ExpressCard Signal Quality Checklists 1.0
This document defines the test requirements for PCI Express and USB signal quality for both modules and host systems. For detailed test methodologies to be followed in signal quality testing, please see the addendum appropriate for the specific equipment that will be used (see Addendum below.)

ExpressCard Signal Quality Test Guidelines Addendum 1, 1.0
he objective of this document is to describe vendor-specific test procedures for Agilent oscilloscopes. The test procedure is referenced to and follows the ExpressCard Signal Quality Test Guidelines. This test procedure is written based on Agilent Infiniium DSO80604B for PCI Express signal quality tests but oscilloscopes of equivalent or better performance can be used. Also, the same scope can be used for USB tests. Such scopes include the following Agilent models at the time of this writing: Agilent Infiniium 54855A, DSO80604A, DSO80804A, DSO81004A, DSO81204A, DSO81304A, DSO80804B, DSO81004B, DSO81204B, DSO81304B, DSA80604B, DSA80804B, DSA81004B, DSA81204B and DSA81304B

Third-Party Test Houses

 The USB-IF works with commercial test houses to provide a "Turnkey" solution for a fee

  • Manufacturer provides test-house with a module, system or component
  • Test house executes checklist and interoperability tests
  • Provides manufacturer with a registration/compliance report packet ready for submittal to the USB-IF

Listed Third-Party Test Houses

The following Test Houses have met USB-IF's requirements as Listed Third-Party Test Houses as defined in the ExpressCard Compliance Program. These test houses are empowered to perform Compliance Checklist and Interoperability Checklist testing for USB-IF Vendor ID owners. The table below details what type of testing they are authorized to perform.

Test House Contact Testing Available
Allion Test Labs, Inc.
9F, No.3-1, Yuan Ku Street
Taipei, 11543 Taiwan R.O.C.
(NanKang Software Park Bldg. G)
Tel: +886-2-2655-7877
Fax: +886-2-2655-7879
URL: www.allion.com
E-mail: expresscard@allion.com

Allion Japan, Inc.
8F, Higashi-Gotanda 1Chome Building,
1-24-2, Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku,
Tokyo, Japan 141-0022
Tel: +81-3-5488-7368
Fax: +81-3-5488-7369
URL: www.allion.co.jp
E-mail: expresscard@allion.co.jp

Module Testing
Host System Testing
Connector Testing

MCCI
3520 Krums Corners Road
Ithaca, NY
USA
Tel: (607) 277-1029
Fax: (607) 277-6844
URL: www.mcci.com
E-mail: sales@mcci.com

Module Testing
Host System Testing
Testronic Laboratories/PMTC
Wetenschapspark 7
3590 Diepenbeek
Belgium
Tel: +32 11 303 600
Fax: +32 11 30 36 96
URL: www.testroniclabs.com
Email: expresscard@testroniclabs.com
Module Testing
Host System Testing

Compliance Program Coverage

The ExpressCard Compliance Program covers various areas as detailed below:

Area Applicability Coverage Source
USB Interface Modules utilizing the USB interface and hosts Protocol and electrical elements need to meet the current USB test standard USB-IF
PCI Express Interface Modules utilizing the PCI Express interface and hosts Functional, protocol and electrical elements meet PCI Express 1.0a specifications PCI SIG
Mechanical Hosts, modules and connectors Connector and card elements all need to meet the specified dimensions and tolerances Checklist
Durability Connectors Friction surfaces must allow for the number of insertion and removal cycles defined in the Standard Checklist
Power Supply Hosts, modules and host power switches Host and modules must perform with supplies within range defined in the Standard Checklist
Power Dissipation Hosts and modules Operating range of host slots and modules must be within the thermal range specified in the Standard Checklist
Interoperability Hosts and modules Establishing that modules work with systems Interop Event
Regulatory N/A Not part of Compliance Program N/A
Applications N/A Not part of Compliance Program N/A

ExpressCard Compliance Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question Answer
How do I qualify to use the ExpressCard brand on a product?

The requirements to display the trademarked and licensed logo are:

 

1. The company must be a USB vendor (i.e. obtain a USB vendor ID).

2. The company must execute the USB-IF Trademark License Agreement.

3. The product bearing the logo must successfully pass USB-IF Compliance Testing and appear on the Integrators List under that companyís name.
Do my products need to be uniquely identifiable? Yes. If you are a card manufacturer there must be some externally visible mechanism to identify the manufacturer, product number, product stepping etc. A software scheme may be acceptable (along the lines of providing Device and Vendor IDs.) this has to allow for identifying other card changes – board steppings, firmware revisions etc. An alternative method would be some form of external marking on card.
What changes are permissible without re-testing a card? You may change features which do not affect the physical, software, or electrical interfaces to the host system.
Is a list of compliant product available on its web site?                           

Yes. The USB-IF Integrators list is viewable to USB-IF member companies only and contains all certified products.

 

The public product search lists only USB-IF member company products who have executed the necessary Trademark License Agreements and whose products have completed and passed compliance testing.  

 

Companies may select to not publicly display their product and/or to delay publication dates in the product tools area of the website.
I manufacture a card, and sell it to multiple other companies who re-label it. If I, as a manufacturer, get the card through the compliance program, can the companies that I sell it on to, call their versions of the card Compliant?

Yes. When your product passes the compliance tests you will be assigned a TID number and your product will be listed on the USB-IF Integrators list.

 

If your customer is purchasing and reselling under their company name products currently on the Integrators List under your company name, it is possible to have these products added to the Integrators List under your customer's company name without retesting. To do so, please submit an OEM Arrangement request online once your tested product has been added to the Integrators List.  The request form is available in your member compliance tools at usb.org > members > my account > compliance summary all tools.  And if they have not already done so, your customer will also need to execute the Trademark License Agreement at in order to license rights to display the logo.
Does that 'different company' have to be a member of USB-IF? The company must own a USB-IF Vendor ID number.
I am a connector manufacturer, can I use the Logo in association with my parts. Yes, as long as they pass the Compliance Program.
As a connector manufacturer, is there any benefit to my customers if my product is certified to use the logo? A module manufacturer who uses ExpressCard compliant connectors does not have to perform the connector tests themselves. If the connector is not compliant they will have to go through the signal integrity and all other connector testing.
What happens if a host and module are found to not interoperate correctly even though they have both qualified to use the logo? We will arrange to retest both devices. If it uncovers a legitimate hole in the compliance tests, that hole will be filled. The manufacturer of the failing device will be given an amount of time in which to correct the problem. During this period they may continue to ship products at their discretion.
I am a system manufacturer. I use the same basic system components, such as motherboards, in many different products. Do I have to test each platform?

No. Not as long as the path from the host chipset to the module socket is unchanged.

 

The USB-IF has a Qualification by Similarity program which allows similar products to be listed on the Integrators list without re-testing.
As a system manufacturer am I able to change from compliant one host socket supplier to another without retesting? Yes. The compliance tests for the sockets will ensure that parts which pass the compliance test are interchangeable. Please complete a Qualification by Similarity form so we can note this change.
As a card manufacturer, am I able to change my compliant socket or card frame suppliers without retesting? Yes.
How frequently will Interoperability events occur? The USB-IF does not hold Interoperability events for ExpressCards. Third party test houses provide an equivalent test process.
To what extent does the testing cover the underlying application? The compliance program does not test the module application beyond the parts defined in the ExpressCard standard. That is the responsibility of the module manufacturer.

Do I need to be a member of PCI to build a PCI Express based ExpressCard module using a third party PCI Express component?

What about USB?

No, but the third party component supplier does, and they need to provide you with proof that that component had passed the PCI compliance program.

As long as you use USB components which are used in devices have passed the USB compliance program, you do not need to be a member of the USB-IF.