from The PC Technology Guide
   bt Dave Anderson

Since 1998, when the fashion was established by Creative Technology's highly successful SoundBlaster Live! card, many soundcards have enhanced connectivity via use an additional I/O card, which fills a 5.25in drive blanking plate and is connected to the main card using a short ribbon cable. In its original incarnation the card used a daughter card in addition to the "breakout" I/O card. In subsequent versions of the daughter card disappeared and the breakout card became a fully-fledged 5.25in drive bay device, which Creative referred to as the Live!Drive.


The Platinum 5.1 version of Creative's card - which first appeared towards the end of 2000 - sported the following jacks and connectors:

Other sound card manufacturers were quick to adopt the idea of a separate I/O connector module. There were a number of variations on the theme. Some were housed in an internal drive bay like the Live!Drive, others were external units, some of which were designed to act as USB hubs.

Universal Serial Bus: Intel’s standard for attaching peripherals to PCs. Designed for low to medium data throughput, it should remove the need to install many devices internally once it gains widespread acceptance. The original 1995 USB1.1 standard supports a rate of 12 MBit/s, the subsequent USB2.0 standard up to 480 Mbit/s.


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