What is a PC-104 connector? Its types, working, advantages, disadvantages & Applications

PC-104 is a type of connector that is commonly used in industrial and embedded computer systems. It is a compact, stackable form factor for modular computer boards, making it ideal for space-constrained applications.

Types of pc-104 connector:

There are two types of PC-104 connectors: the 3.6-inch (90mm) PC/104 and the 4.5-inch (115mm) PC/104-Plus The original PC/104 is a stackable bus architecture that uses a 104-pin connector, while the newer PC/104-Plus uses a 120-pin connector.

Working of pc-104 connector:

PC-104 boards use a standardized stackable bus architecture to connect peripheral devices, which allows them to be stacked on top of one another, like building blocks. Each board in the stack communicates with the others using a shared bus, which eliminates the need for a backplane or other interconnect system.


  1. Compact form factor: PC-104 boards are small and stackable, making them ideal for space-constrained applications.
  2. Rugged: PC-104 boards are designed for harsh environments and can withstand shock, vibration, and temperature extremes.
  3. Low power: The low power consumption of PC-104 boards makes them ideal for battery-powered or portable applications.
  4. Cost-effective: The modular design of PC-104 boards allows for easy upgrades and replacement of individual components, which can be more cost-effective than replacing an entire system.


  1. Limited expansion: The stackable design of PC-104 boards limits the number of peripheral devices that can be added to a system.
  2. Proprietary design: The PC-104 standard is proprietary and not as widely adopted as other standards, which can limit the availability of compatible hardware and software.
  3. Limited bandwidth: The shared bus architecture of PC-104 can limit the bandwidth available to each device


  1. Embedded Systems: PC-104 connectors are widely used in embedded systems for adding expansion cards and peripherals such as data acquisition cards, Ethernet adapters, and video capture cards. The small size and stackable design of PC-104 connectors make them ideal for embedded systems where space is at a premium.
  2. Industrial Control: PC-104 connectors are also used in industrial control applications, where they are used to connect input/output (I/O) modules, sensors, and actuators. The rugged and reliable design of PC-104 connectors make them well-suited for use in harsh environments such as factories and outdoor installations.
  3. Military and Aerospace: PC-104 connectors are often used in military and aerospace applications due to their ruggedness and ability to withstand extreme temperatures and vibration. They are commonly used in avionics systems, flight control systems, and military vehicles.
  4. Medical Devices: PC-104 connectors are also used in medical devices such as ultrasound machines, CT scanners, and patient monitoring systems. The small size and stackable design of PC-104 connectors make them ideal for use in portable medical devices that require high performance in a small form factor.

Leave a Comment