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Foxconn 915A01 architecture

Evgenie Rudometov

http://www.rudometov.com

In the domestic computer market has appeared next high-powered mother, created on the basis of Intel chip set 915P, oriented to processors of Intel of Pentium  4 and supporting already habitual perspective processing techniques. Key feature is the brand of the manufacturer — Foxconn

As is known, functionality of the computer depends on many units of system. Each of them contributes the share, however a role of some is prevailing. For this reason they also are named as the major. And the motherboard which is responsible for a coordination of operation of other accessories concerns them, working, by the way, on rather high frequencies.

That's it this circumstance together with functional complexity of motherboards superimposes hard enough requirements of quality of process of their production. Therefore, despite adaptability to manufacture of such products (has selected or has ordered appropriate design, has bought a line, has typed accessories, has employed workers — do cards and consider profit), the number of the main manufacturers is rather insignificant. Their names and brands well-known.

And here now that is known far not to all. The matter is that modern production of products, the architecture and which operation it is linked by the newest high technologies, it is characterised by high level of the international integration. Links sometimes are so strongly interlaced what to untangle them happens extremely difficult, especially for uninitiated. As a result of integration quite often there are cases when products make one, and sell them absolutely others. Here usually potential buyers also know exclusively brands last, and the present designers of hi-tech miracles remain in obscurity.

But such situation far not always happens eternal, and in some cases creators quit from a prepared life and modern economy of a shade. In summary there is a new brand of the corporation which dares to incur not only production efforts, but also to learn a headache of sellers, and in case of success and relying profit.

After such introduction it is necessary to name the corporation which has preferred to realise a part of the products under an own name. It is a question of company Foxconn which structure includes a number of firms from more one hundred thousand employees.

The attentive and prepared user familiar with the architecture and computer accessories of modern systems, Intels oriented to processors, possibly, will recollect at once, that already saw this name. Really, these characters can be detected easily on processor LGA775 plugs, more than 90 which % this company makes. Besides, with this name communicate both other plugs and units. However in the nomenclature of the given company there are also more difficult products known, the truth, while basically under other brands. Among such products it is possible to result tanks, power supply units and many other things, but, perhaps, most curious are motherboards.

Among customers and business partners Foxconn many known and large computer companies ordering high-quality motherboards, realised under their brands are registered. And now a part from made cards receive a new brand — Foxconn. As one of examples it is possible to result rather recently developed motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P (full name FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2, but will use further, as a rule, the abbreviated name — FOXCONN 915A01-P).

This card supports processors of corporation of Intel in the newest konstruktive LGA  775 and realises perspective branch and firm processing techniques in the architecture. The new built in resources of a multi-channel sound of excellence, resource RAID and, of course, a two-channel subsystem of dynamic storage concern such branch processing techniques PCI Express. The newest and popular chip set of Intel 915P became a basis of this card.

Intel chip set 915P

Fig. 1. Structure of the computer created on the basis of a chip set of Intel 915P

Intel chip set 915P (i915P) is oriented to creation of high-powered desktop personal computers. Supports systems with processors of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading, 90 nanometers created on processing technique , hooked up through LGA 775 plug and working with bus FSB of type QPB (Quad-Pumped Bus) which clock rate can make 133 or 200 MHz.

Traditionally for chipsets of system logic the chip set consists of two components named Memory Controller Hub (MCH) and I/O Controller Hub (ICH).

The base package of a chip set i915P consists of Intel chips 82915P Memory Controller Hub (MCH) and Intel 82801FB (ICH6). As the second chip can use improved variants ICH6. It can be Intel chip 82801FR (ICH6R), possessing the expanded possibilities of operation with a disk subsystem of memory.

Chips MCH and ICH are jointed by special Direct Media Interface (DMI local bus to a transfer rate to 10 Gbit/with in each direction: a full duplex.

The MCH component contains the controllers giving interfaces with high capacity in the structure. These controllers control the system bus with data transfer with frequency of 800 MHz and two-channel dynamic storage. Besides, they will organise operation of graphic interface PCI Express x16 and communication facilities with a chip of input/output ICH.

Built in Intel 82915P the controller of processor bus FSB of type QPB supports the bus with clock rate of 200/133 MHz that provides data transfer on frequencies of 800/533 MHz.

Built in Intel chip 82915P the memory controller provides support of two-and one-channel functional modes of memory DDR/DDR2 SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM — SDRAM with data transfer on lobbies and back edges of clock pulses of the bus of memory). Probably patterns with usage as DDR SDRAM with frequency of 333 and 400 MHz, and DDR2 SDRAM with frequency of 400 and 533 MHz. But all units should be one type, specified in the documentation on the motherboard: either DDR2, or DDR. Maximum size of dynamic storage — to 4 Gbytes. Two-channel memory DDR2 with frequency of 533 MHz has maximum capacity to 8,5 Gbytes/with.

Chip MCH supports different frequency functional modes for processor and memory buses.

Handle of computer peripheral devices is carried out by the second component of a chip set. Thus it is necessary to mark, that in a chip set i915P chip ICH of the sixth version is used. According to this fact it has received name ICH6 and is presented by Intel chip 82801FB. This chip enters into a base set of a chip set i915P.

The built in resources of a chip of handle of peripheral devices of a base set support: one channel IDE with support ATA 33/66/100 (to two arrangements IDE), four ports Serial ATA 150, eight ports USB 2.0, to four PCI Express x1, to seven PCI (PCI Rev 2.3, 32 bits/33 of MHz), LPC (Low Pin Count), the controller of Intel High Definition Audio with support of three codecs, AC ’ 97 2.3 (to 8 channels), integrated controller LAN (10/100 Mb/s Ethernet), SMBus, APIC, ACPI Rev.2.0, and also other resources and functions.

Except Intel 82801FB as it has been specified above, usage of the expanded version of hub ICH6 — ICH5R is possible .

Structure of package FOXCONN 915A01-P

Motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P (FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2) concerns a series of cards 915A01. Characters entering into a full name mean the coding of the integrated resources applied in the architecture: L — 100 M LAN, K — 1G LAN, 6 — six channels audio, 8 — eight channels audio, E — IEEE 1394, S — SATA, R — RAID.

Fig. 2. Structure of package FOXCONN 915A01-P (FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2)

According to accompanying documents the structure of a package of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P (FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2) standardly includes following components:

        the Packing box,

        Motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P,

        the Cover plate of input/output corresponding to specification ATX 2.01, 

        the Documentation in English (91501 User Manual, RAID User Manual),

        the Compact disc with the software from FOXCONN,

        the Flexible 3,5-inch disk with drivers (ICH6R S-ATA RAID Driver),

        Cable Ultra DMA 66/100/133,

        the Cable for hooking up of the flexible drive,

        Two cables Serial ATA 150,

        the Cable of power supplies Serial ATA 150,

        the Unit of input/output USB 2.0 (two ports),

        the Unit of input/output SPDIF (one port).

The main technical parametres of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P

Fig. 3. Motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P

Fig. 4. Motherboard FOXCONN plugs 915A01-P

The processor

        Support of the processor of Intel of Pentium 4 in tank LGA775 with the system bus 533 and 800 MHz,

        Support of processors of Intel Celeron with the bus of 533 MHz in in tank LGA775.

Chip set

       Intel 82915P (MCH),

       Intel 82801FR (ICH6R).

Dynamic storage

       Four plugs (240 contact electrodes) for dynamic storage DIMM,

       Support of one or two channels of dynamic storage,

       DDR2 400 Units or DDR2 533,

        maximum size — to 4 Gbytes.

USB 2.0

        Eight ports USB 2.0.

IEEE1394

        Two ports VIA VT6307.

Video

        the Videoadapter in PCI slot Express X16.

Audio

        the Audiosubsystem of Intel High Definition Audio on the basis of 8-channel codec Realtek ALC880,

        AC ’ 97, SPDIF, 5.1 audiochannels.

LAN

        Gigabitnaja (10/100/1000 Mbit/c) a network subsystem on base gigabitnogo network controller Realtek RTL8110S-32.

System BIOS

        4 Mbit flash ROM,

        Award BIOS Phoenix with support Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features and Trend Chip Away Virus.

Disk drives

        the Interface of the floppi-drive,

        Intel ICH6R: one Parallel ATA IDE with support of UltraDMA 100/66/33 protocols; four Serial ATA c RAID 0, RAID 1 and Intel Matrix Storage Technology.

Plugs of peripherals

        One parallel port,

        One port LAN (RJ-45),

        Six ports of audio,

        Four ports USB 2.0,

        One port IEEE1394a,

        One serial port,

        keyboard and mouse Ports PS/2.

Slots

        one PCI slot Express x16,

        three PCI slots Express x1,

        three PCI slots.

Form factor

        mikro-AtX,

        the Sizes of 245 mm h 305 mm.

Features of FOXCONN 915A01-P architecture

Motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P is created according to referens-design.

Rather recently Intel corporation has passed to the new standard of tank and the plug — LGA 775. It has found the reflexion and in the motherboard architecture.

High efficiency of modern processors is accompanied considerable teploobrazovaniem. It demands appropriate resources of cooling.

Appropriate resources of cooling chip MCH (a Fig. 5) which structure the controllers which are responsible for link with the processor are built in, subsystems of dynamic storage and video, and also with chip ICH demands also . As resources of cooling the manufacturer selects the massive heat sink. Application of passive cooling unlike variants with fans provides lowering of the acoustic noise made by working system of the computer.

Fig. 5. A part of Intel chip set 915P chips Memory Controller Hub (MCH) with resources of cooling and I/O Controller Hub (ICH)

It is necessary to mark, that motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P is oriented as a basis of mass high-powered systems of wide application. Usage of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading and the bus of 800 MHz providing reaching of a maximum level of productivity therefore is recommended  . By the way, using the newest program codes BIOS application of the newest models of Intel of Pentium 4 steppinga E0 with implementation of the newest processing techniques of protection of the information (bit NX) and supports of optimal thermal modes (Enhanced Halt Mode C1E and Thermal Monitoring 2) is possible . It allows to reach dependability and productivity high levels.

However usage and less efficient models is possible. It can be, for example, the processors calculated for the bus of 533 MHz.

Together with motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P application of models and without support of processing technique Hyper-Threading though it and will not allow to reach extreme possible performance level is possible.

In motherboard FOXCONN architecture 915A01-P in a dynamic storage subsystem DDR2 SDRAM units working on frequencies of 400 and 533 MHz use . Be traditional a functional mode of memory modules DDR2 SDRAM can one-channel or two-channel, as synchronous (clock rate coincides with frequency FSB), and asynchronous (clock rate differs from frequency FSB).

Graphics solution PCI Express x16 provides speed to 4 Gbytes/with in each direction, that more than in three and a half time exceeds high-speed performance of the best external graphics adapters with interface AGP8X.

For handle of input\output devices the second component which is a part of the used chip set traditionally responds. As this component of the given copy of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P Intel chip 82801FR (ICH6R), resulted on a Fig. 5 uses .

From features of the architecture it is necessary to mark an audiosubsystem realising processing technique of Intel High Definition Audio. It provides considerable improvement of playback of a multi-channel sound 48 kgts in comparison with traditional solutions AC ' 97. Support of new formats of house cinemas and support of simultaneous playback of several separate sound streams is Besides, carried out. As the codec chip Realtek ALC880 presented in a Fig. 6 is used .

On a motherboard backboard it is output on six audioplugs of type Jack. Besides, through additional breket it is given SPDIF.

In total it is realised eight audiochannels (Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing).

The network controller Gigabit Ethernet realised on a chip of controller Realtek RTL8110S-32 is built in the motherboard architecture, hooked up to bus PCI and presented on a Fig. 6. The given integrated network tools allow to include easily the computer through built in RJ45 (LAN plug in structure of a local area network without usage of above boards of the extension.

Fig. 6. Audiocodec chips, LAN (are selected red) and controller IEEE1394A with plugs of maps of PCI extension, PCI Express X1 and PCI Express X16

For the extension of the computer system created on the basis of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P, the appropriate slots presented by traditional PCI plugs and PCI Express x1 are. Thus it is necessary to mark, that the subsystem of input/output PCI Express x1 provides speed more than in 500 Mb per second. It more than in 3,5 times exceeds speed of traditional PCI architecture which, as is known, has capacity in 133 Mb per second. PCI Express x1 plugs together with PCI Express x16 and traditional PCI are presented in a Fig. 6.

One more feature in the architecture new материнскиX cards which concerns and FOXCONN 915A01-P, is a processing technique of Intel Matrix Storage. The given processing technique realised in ICH6R, provides high efficiency at usage of one disk or a RAID-file.

Increases productivity of hard disks by means of processing technique RAID 0 and protects data by means of processing technique RAID 1, applying them on the same disks. Interface AHCI raises productivity thanks to integration of sequence of commands and provides support of hot installation and changeover of hard disks.

The processing technique of Intel Matrix Storage helps to protect data, simultaneously raising productivity in comparison with systems with one hard disk. And it is important, that supports transition from a pattern "RAID ready" with one hard disk on array RAID 0 or RAID 1 without OS reinstallation.

The motherboard architecture incorporates four ports Serial ATA 150 (four arrangements) and one port Parallel ATA-100 (UltraDMA 100/66/33, two arrangements IDE).

The design of the motherboard is provided by usage of additional controller RAID, however this possibility in a considered variant is not realised.

Considering possibilities of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P, it is necessary to mark, that this card supports variety of firm processing techniques. Certainly, are not ignored designers and possibility of dispersal.

Power supply of units of motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2 is carried out through system of impulse stabilising devices.

In a multi-channel impulse surge protector of the processor (a Fig. 7), traditionally allocated round a processor socket, the considerable quantity of filtering capacitors is applied.

Fig. 9. The main VRM motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P

Except this converter, on the card there are additional converters of supply voltage PCI Express  x16 and dynamic storage units that became typical for qualitative cards.

It is necessary to add, that in motherboard FOXCONN architecture 915A01-P traditional possibilities of the hardware monitoring providing the control over supply voltages and operation of cooling fans are realised.

Stability and dependability

In the course of durable testing motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P worked steadily as it usually and is characteristic for qualitative products of this manufacturer.

For data acquisition about dependability of card FOXCONN 915A01-P it is necessary to access or to the computer corporations realising this product, or it is direct to the manufacturer of mother chamber — companies Foxconn through its representations.

High-powered card FOXCONN 915A01-P can be recommended a wide range of users.

Motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2 is given by the Moscow representation of company Foxconn


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