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mPCIe - PCIe adapter mini size

Article Number: 10335
Supplier number: MP2D V1.0

The PCIe mini size adapter is designed for wireless application on desktop PCs that convert half-sized mPCIe modules to USB dupont 5PIN or standard PCI-Express 1x slot. You can insert your USB type module to this adapter then plug to USB 5PIN header port through USB cable. You can also insert your half-sized mPCIe module into this adapter and then insert the adapter to your PCI-E 1x connector.

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Operating Temperature Range
0 °C – 80 °C
Size
60x38x8 mm
Technical details:
Supports system bus interface: PCIe & USB2.0
Supports USB interface of mPCIe modules such as LTE, 3G,CDMA, WWAN, HSPA, GPS, WiMAX and Bluetooth mPCIe modules
Wireless access LED, POWER LED
The adapter is transparent to operating systems and does not require any software drivers.

For usage with Sierra Wireless MC74 series modules please read FAQ section.
Question

MiniPCIe based cellular modules supporting both USB2 and USB3 are not detected in the host system? Such as Sierra Wireless MC74** series, and Telit LM940/LM960 series modules.

Solution

From start the PCI-SIG miniPCIe form factor standard only included support for PCIe + USB2 data interface and had designated signal lines for these between host system and the miniPCIe module. Since revision 2.1 of the PCI-SIG miniPCIe standard it is defined that the PCIe data lanes can be shared/used for USB3 also.

Cellular modules mainly rely on USB2 interface but as the cellular throughput speeds have increased, the USB2 can become a bottleneck on LTE Cat 6 modules and higher. To address this, USB3 data interface was introduced on the higher data throughput mobile broadband cellular modules and made available in parallel to USB2 interface. However due to limited amount of pin lanes available in the miniPCIe socket they share location with the PCIe data interface pin lanes.

When the host system and module are powered on, the cellular module will try to probe if USB3 interface is present on the pin lanes and if communication can be established, otherwise the module will revert to using the USB2 data interface instead.

However, in some host systems where PCIe data interface also is implemented on the shared pin lanes, the signals will interfere with the cellular modules probing for USB3 interface making it not fall back to USB2 data interface. This usually result in the cellular module not being detected at all in the host operating system.

The USB3 auto-sensing functionality is enabled by default but can be disabled by using AT commands to write the memory changes to the internal NV memory which is stored between restarts. After the module is restarted it will use only the USB2 pin lanes for data interface. Please also check and validate if the host system BIOS support disabling of the PCIe interface in the miniPCIe socket.

Related AT commands for configuring USB3/USB2 modes:

Telit LM940/LM960 modules:
AT#USBSWITCH=1
AT#REBOOT

For Sierra Wireless MC74 series: (firmware version dependent)
AT!ENTERCND="A710"
AT!USBSPEED=0
AT!RESET

For troubleshooting this issue in hardware, you can try isolating the USB3 data interface pins #23, 25, 31, 33 on the top side of the miniPCIe data cards card socket so no signalling to and from the hosts can occur. This could be done in the board design or with adapter.

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