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Foxconn 925A01 architecture

Evgenie Rudometov

http://www.rudometov.com

By company Foxconn it is developed and released on the computer market next high-powered mother, created on the basis of Intel chip set 925X, oriented to processors of Intel of Pentium  4 and supporting modern, perspective processing techniques

Company Foxconn products were for the time being well-known basically to experts of large computer corporations for whom this company released variety of accessories. However rather recently Foxconn, possessing powerful intellectual, industrial and financial in potentials, has decided to appear in the market under an own brand, having pressed former and existing customers of its hi-tech production.

Also it is necessary to tell, attempt has appeared quite successful. Marketing pressure and rather excellence of products have yielded expected results, and brand Foxconn promptly wins the world computer market, including the Russian. As consequence of these efforts, domestic users can already get acquainted with variety of the motherboards created by engineers of the given company on the basis of qualitative accessories. These cards presented in different price categories, are oriented to modern high-powered processors.

As one of examples of models of sector HighEnd it is possible to result rather recently developed motherboard FOXCONN 925A01. This card has full name FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2 (decryption of an alphanumeric code is resulted more low). However, as a rule, the abbreviated name of the given card — FOXCONN 925A01 — under the series name — 925 SeriesMotherboard further will use   .

The specified motherboard 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, high-powered and popular not only among manufacturers, but also and among users the chipset of system logic (chip set) of Intel 925X, concerning units HighEnd became a basis of this card.

Intel chip set 925X

Fig. 1. Structure of the computer created on the basis of a chip set of Intel 925X

Intel chip set 925X (i925X) is oriented to creation of high-powered desktop personal computers and powerful workstations of initial level. Supports systems with processors of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading, 90 nanometers created on processing technique , hooked up through LGA775 plug and working with bus FSB of type QPB (Quad-Pumped Bus) which clock rate can make 133 or 200 MHz.

As is known, bus FSB of type QPB at clock rate of 133 MHz carries out data transfer with frequency of 533 MHz, an address part — 266 MHz that capacity to 4,2 Gbytes/with provides peak. At clock rate of 200 MHz data transfer is carried out with frequency of 800 MHz, and an address part — 400 MHz. In this mode peak capacity reaches values of 6,4 Gbytes/with. The bus supports 32-bit addressing that provides to 4 Gbytes of dynamic storage.

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 i925X consists of Intel chips 82925X 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, or Intel chip 82801FW (ICH6W) with integrated controller Wi-Fi, or Intel chip 82801FRW (ICH6RW), possessing both specified functions. However, it is necessary to mark, that after some months after the announcement and release i925X, Intel company has declared the time termination of deliveries of the second component of a chip set in which resources Wi-Fi are realised, having explained it is economic inexpediency in sort of absence of due demand.

Estimating possibilities of components of a chip set, it is necessary to mark, that Intel corporation has declared the time termination of deliveries of the chips supporting wireless processing techniques. It is called while by a weak demand of similar chips in the computer market. But under the statement the corporation, it does not deny possibility of renewal of release of the given components in the future.

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 at full duplex support.

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 533 or 800 MHz, and also 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 82925X 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 82925X the memory controller provides support of two and one-channel functional modes of memory DDR2 SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM — SDRAM with data transfer on lobbies and back edges of clock pulses of the bus of memory). Patterns with usage DDR2 SDRAM with a transmission frequency of data of 400 and 533 MHz are possible . Maximum size of dynamic storage — to 4 Gbytes, support ECC is provided.

Two-channel memory DDR2 with frequency of 533 MHz has maximum capacity to 8,5 Gbytes/with.

On speed of operation i925X exceeds i915. It is reached basically at the expense of usage of special processing technique of operation of a subsystem of memory. This processing technique is clone of processing technique PAT realised in previous chip sets I875, oriented, as well as I925X, on high-powered computer systems High End.

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 i925X 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 i925X.

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, Wireless Connect Technology (only for ICH6W/ICH6RW), 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 — ICH6R, ICH6W, ICH6RW is possible .

Structure of package FOXCONN 925A01

Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 (FOXCONN 925A0-P-8EKRS2) concerns a series of cards 925A01. 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. Using this information, it is completely not difficult to decrypt a code which is the second part of the name, and to receive representation about functionality of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2 or, by the way, any other card released by company Foxconn. By the way, from the existence of the cipher it is possible to assume, that there are variants with other set of functionality. And as follows from the order bookings — 925A01 motherboard User Manual, it is real so. Variants with a speed 10/100 Mbit/with LAN, without IEEE 1394, with six audiochannels, etc. are possible .

However it is necessary to remind, that exclusively variant FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2 here is presented and only for brevity described motherboard is named further as FOXCONN 925A01.

Fig. 2. Structure of package FOXCONN 925A01 (FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2)

According to accompanying documents the structure of a package of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 (FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2) standardly includes following components:

        the Packing box, colour with a poured, holographic coating,

        Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01,

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

        the Documentation in English (925A01 motherboard User Manual, Serial ATA RAID User’S Guide),

        the Map with the description of units and plugs on the motherboard,

        the Compact disc with the software from FOXCONN (drivers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Norton Internet Security 2004, Foxconn SuperUtilities, DirectX 9.0b, etc .),

        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 of two arrangements 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 925A01

Fig. 3. Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01

Fig. 4. External plugs of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01

The processor

        Support of the processor of Intel of Pentium 4 (90 nanometers, Prescott) in tank LGA 775 with the system bus 533 and 800 MHz,

        Support of processors of Intel Celeron with the bus of 533 MHz in tank LGA 775.

Chip set

        Intel 82925X (MCH),

        Intel 82801FR (ICH6R).

Dynamic storage

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

        Support of one or two channels of dynamic storage,

        Memory modules DDR2 400 or DDR2 533,

        Maximum size — to 4 Gbytes,

        Support PAT.

USB 2.0

        Eight ports USB 2.0.

IEEE1394

        Two ports provided 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.

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 plugs of audio,

        Four ports USB 2.0,

        One port IEEE1394a,

        Two serial ports,

        keyboard and mouse Ports PS/2.

Slots

        one PCI slot Express x16,

        three PCI slots Express x1,

        two PCI slots.

Form factor

        mikro-AtX,

        the Sizes 12 ”X 9.6” (305 mm h 244 mm).

Estimating technical parametres and functionality of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2, it is necessary to mark, that they in many respects coincide with motherboard FOXCONN 915A01-P-8EKRS2. It, generally speaking, is not strange as technical designers of cards often use the already well tested, successful solutions. However, comparing the specified cards, it is not necessary to forget, that basis FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2 is Hi-End a chip set i925X. This chip set in many respects defines also details of the architecture of the motherboard, and functionality of all computer system, including, of course, and its common, rather high efficiency in a wide spectrum of tasks.

Features of FOXCONN 925A01 architecture

Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 is created according to appropriate referens-design. Usually it is given by corporations-implementators of chip sets taking into account requirements of processors. In this case the legislator and the holder of referens-design appears as Intel corporation.

Here it is necessary to mark, that exact following is required to guidelines of the implementator of referens-design, especially in the areas characterised by high transmission frequencies of data. Without observance of the given requirements operation of motherboards will be or is labile, or even becomes absolutely impossible. Usually most rigidly it is all concerns areas of the cards linked to functioning of subsystems working on high clock rates of the processor, dynamic storage, the videoadapter together with their plugs, buses of power supplies and transmission of computer data.

Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 is fulfilled on textolite of bright dark blue colour. Card bussing is substantially standard. The short description of the main crosspieces which set the parametres defining functional modes, is resulted directly on a card surface.

Realising the vision of an optimal platform and schedules of its implementation, rather recently Intel corporation has passed to the new standard of tank and the processor plug — LGA 775. According to experts of corporation, this plug is optimal solution for modern high-powered processors. All it has found the reflexion and in the architecture of appropriate motherboards. Such cards concerns and FOXCONN 925A01. This motherboard uses processor LGA 775 plug in the architecture (a Fig. 5) is oriented for high-powered systems with appropriate models of the processor of Intel of Pentium 4 created on the basis of kernel Prescott on processing technique of 90 nanometers. Here pertinently to remind, that the processor has traditional nozhevyh no contact electrodes. Their role is fulfilled by appropriate bonding contact pads on a bottom face of tank of the processor, and special contact electrodes of socket LGA 775 allocated on the motherboard (a Fig. 5). And the metal frame of a socket provides the hard mount of the processor, not subjecting its damage to an installation time and dismantle at the expense of a distortion of the powerful and heavy heat sink of a cooler as it happened earlier with processors of the previous type.

Fig. 5. Processor LGA 775 plug

Here it is necessary to mark, that, considering card FOXCONN trend 925A01, usage of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading and the bus of 800 MHz (a transmission frequency of data) is recommended  . It provides reaching of a maximum level of productivity. By the way, using the newest program codes BIOS application of the last models is possible. It can be models of Intel of Pentium 4 steppinga E0 with high clock rate of operation of a kernel, for example, 3,8 GHz. The given advanced models support the newest of processing techniques of protection of the computer information (bit NX) from widespread virus attacks. Besides, they provide optimal thermal modes of maintenance (Enhanced Halt Mode C1E and Thermal Monitoring 2). It allows to reach all high levels of dependability and productivity at maintenance of the systems created on the basis of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01.

Nevertheless, despite orientation of the motherboard to sector of high-powered systems, usage and less efficient models of processors is possible. It can be, for example, the processors calculated for the bus of 533 MHz.

It is necessary to mark, that together with motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 application of models and without support of processing technique Hyper-Threading is, of course, possible. However in this case it is necessary to consider, that such models of processors do not allow to reach extreme possible performance levels accessible to models, supporting the given processing technique of multistream fulfilment of program codes (one physical, but two logical processors).

Unfortunately, considerable functional complexity and high efficiency of the modern monolithic microcircuits working on very high clock rates, is accompanied considerable teploobrazovaniem. It demands appropriate resources of cooling. Thus such resources are required not only for the processor, but also for chip MSN of chip set I925X. It is called by that built in structure of the given chip the controllers which are responsible for link with the processor, dynamic storage, the videoadapter and the second component of a chip set — ICH are characterised by high levels teploobrazovanija.

For chip MCH passive resources of cooling are used. As such resources the manufacturer selects the massive heat sink (a Fig. 6). Application of passive cooling unlike variants with fans provides lowering of the acoustic noise made by working system of the computer.

Fig. 6. A part of Intel chip set 925X chips Memory Controller Hub (MCH) with resources of cooling and I/O Controller Hub (ICH)

One of the major features of the architecture of the modern motherboards created on the basis of chip sets of the last generation which concerns I925X, In motherboard FOXCONN architecture 925A01 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). It is necessary to add, that there is a possibility to activate the built in possibility of an expedition of passing and information processing in a dynamic storage subsystem (processing technique of type PAT). This possibility provides productivity increase on 3-5 %.

One more possibility of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 as however and other modern cards which basis are chip sets of I925 sets and I915, usage of graphics solution on the basis of PCI Express x16 is. It is necessary to mark, that it provides speed to 4 Gbytes/with in each direction at a full duplex. By the way, the resulted numerical estimation essentially exceeds high-speed performance of the best external graphics adapters with interface AGP 8X with its speed in a direction of a graphics adapter about 2 Gbytes, and in the return — 10 times less. So advantage of new solution is obvious, however its usage is future business as while the software does not allow to realise the possibilities given by the modern architecture to the full. By the way, often it concerns not only video, but also input/output resources.

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 925A01 Intel chip 82801FR (ICH6R), resulted on a Fig. 6 uses .

From features of the architecture of the given component of a chip set it is necessary to mark more perfect audiosubsystem. This component realises processing technique of Intel High Definition Audio that provides considerable improvement of playback of a multi-channel sound 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 , is selected red (in the red frame).

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 built in audioresources provide rather high parametres: non-uniformity of an amplitude-frequency characteristic in a band of 40 Hz – 15 kgts makes 0,5 db, the dynamic range — makes more than 90 db, and nonlinear distortions — less than 0,005 %.

Network controller Gigabit Ethernet is built in the motherboard architecture. It provides support of standards 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T. It is realised on the chip of controller Realtek RTL8110S-32 hooked up to bus PCI and presented in a Fig. 7, it is selected by the red. The given integrated network tools allow to include easily the computer through built in RJ45 (LAN plug in structure of a high-speed local area network without usage of additional specialised expansion cards.

Ports of external serial interface IEEE1394A (to 400 Mbit/c) are provided by chip VIAVT6307, for a Fig. 7 it is selected by the red.

Fig. 7. Audiocodec chips, LAN and controller IEEE1394A (are selected red) 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 925A01, the appropriate expansion slots presented by traditional PCI plugs and rather new 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. 7: white plugs — PCI, yellow — PCIExpress X1 (PCI-E).

The motherboard architecture incorporates four ports Serial ATA 150 (four arrangements) and one port Parallel ATA-100 (UltraDMA 100/66/33, two arrangements IDE). To increase productivity of a subsystem of hard disks it is possible by means of processing technique RAID 0, and data protection — by means of processing technique RAID 1. Thus both variants can be combined, using four hard disk drives. But it appears, that both given possibilities it is possible to combine within the limits of essentially smaller quantity of disk drives. A key to it is one more feature in the architecture of new motherboards which concerns and FOXCONN 925A01, 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. 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 operating system reinstallation. And interface AHCI raises productivity thanks to integration of sequence of commands and provides support of hot installation and changeover of hard disks.

Considering possibilities of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01, it is necessary to mark, that this card supports also variety of the special firm processing techniques carrying by tradition of manufacturers of motherboards loud names. As an example it is possible to result such processing techniques, as SuperSpeed (a choice of modes through the menu, instead of through jumpers, generally speaking, it is standard way of customisation of functional modes), SuperRecovery (one of functions — data protection), SuperBoot (fast loading), SuperLogo (possibility of changeover of the standard map output at loading), SuperBIOS-Protect (one more security clearance), SuperUpdate (upgrade of code BIOS through the Internet).

Certainly, are not ignored designers of the given motherboard and possibility of dispersal. Special firm function Super Step is this purpose, for example.

Users of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 have a possibility of change of frequency FSB in a band of 200-350 MHz with step 1 MHz, and also a supply variation of a kernel of the processor in a band from-0,0375 In to +0,3875 In with step 0,0125 V.Predusmotreno also change of the frequency divider for buses PCI / PCI-E. Thus probably for bus PCI-E, and, therefore, and hooked up means of this bus to extension maps to change clock rate from 100 MHz to 200 MHz with step 1 MHz, for the bus and appropriate maps PCI — 33,33, 36,36, 40 MHz.

Besides, it is possible to select four diets for memory modules: Default, +0,03 In, +0,06 In, +0,1 Century And still it is possible to change power on a chip set: Default, +0,03 In, +0,06 In, +0,1 Century

Estimating possibilities of installation of the numerous parametres defining functional modes of units of the motherboard and accessories of the computer, it is necessary to mark, that concrete possibilities depend on the version of program code BIOS.

Power supply of units of motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 is carried out through system of the impulse stabilising devices integrated into its architecture.

In a multi-channel impulse surge protector of the processor (VRM), traditionally allocated round the processor plug and presented in a Fig. 8 (at the left), the considerable quantity of filtering capacitors is applied. It is a necessary condition of a stable operation of the processor, and, eventually, and all computer system.

Except this converter, on the card there are additional converters of a supply voltage for PCI Express  x16 and dynamic storage units, that, however, became already typical for qualitative cards (a Fig. 8, on the right).

Fig. 8. VRM motherboard FOXCONN 925A01

It is necessary to add, that in motherboard FOXCONN architecture 925A01 traditional possibilities of hardware monitoring are realised. It is carried out by multifunction array ITEIT8712F-A resources. The control over supply voltages (+3,3, +5, +12), with operation of two cooling fans, processor temperature (it is built in a processor chip), cards (is built in the card) is provided.

 

Stability and dependability

In the course of durable testing motherboard FOXCONN 925A01 worked steadily as it usually and is characteristic for qualitative products of this manufacturer having wide experience of development and release of motherboards.

For data acquisition about concrete numerical reliability estimate of card FOXCONN 925A01 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 numerous representations, including Moscow.

Summing up to all aforesaid, high-powered, multifunctional board FOXCONN 925A01 (FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2), created on the basis of High-End chip set I925X, can be recommended a wide range of users.

Motherboard FOXCONN 925A01-8EKRS2 is given by the Moscow representation of company Foxconn


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