What is a daughterboard/mezzanine card? An easy-to-understand explanation of the basic concepts of computer terminology

Explanation of IT Terms

What is a Daughterboard/Mezzanine Card?

When it comes to computer hardware, you will often come across terms like daughterboard and mezzanine card. These two terms refer to expansion cards that are used to add extra functionality or enhance the capabilities of a computer system. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly a daughterboard and a mezzanine card are.


A daughterboard, also known as a daughter card, is a circuit board that connects to the mainboard of a computer system to extend its capabilities. It is typically smaller in size and plugs into a specialized connector on the motherboard. Daughterboards can be found in various devices such as computers, game consoles, and networking equipment.

The purpose of a daughterboard can vary depending on the specific application or system requirements. For example, in a sound card, a daughterboard might be used to provide additional audio inputs and outputs. In a graphics card, a daughterboard might be used to accommodate extra video memory or specialized processing units. Daughterboards enable system designers and manufacturers to expand the functionalities of a computer system without modifying the mainboard.

Mezzanine Card

A mezzanine card, often referred to as a mezz card, is a similar concept to a daughterboard but with some slight differences in form factor and application. Mezzanine cards are designed to fit into specialized expansion slots within a computer system, typically using high-speed connectors. These slots, also known as mezzanine slots, provide a standardized interface for connecting mezzanine cards.

What sets mezzanine cards apart is their high-speed capabilities and compatibility with specific types of computer systems. Mezzanine cards are commonly used in telecommunications equipment, industrial computers, and high-performance computing systems. They can add functions such as networking, data storage, or specialized processors to the system, leveraging the high-speed connectivity provided by mezzanine slots.

In summary, daughterboards and mezzanine cards both serve the purpose of expanding the functionality of computer systems. Daughterboards are typically smaller and connect directly to the motherboard, while mezzanine cards are slightly larger and fit into specialized expansion slots. Their applications range from audio and video processing to high-speed networking and storage. By incorporating these additional cards, computer systems can be tailored to meet specific requirements and offer enhanced capabilities.

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