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Chip set — computer heart

Evgenie Rudometov, Victor Rudometov.

Article is grounded on substances of books "the PC Architecture, accessories, multimedia" and "Motherboards and chip sets"

Productivity and functional properties of the computer depend not only on the processor, but also from other accessories. The special place among them is occupied with the motherboard which central unit is the chip set. It is important to select their optimal for effective solution on the computer of a wide range of tasks.

Operation of central processor units depends on integral chips environing them and other radioelements. The given chips and units set necessary working conditions of power supplies and data transfer, that is provide effective operation of the processor. Besides, they carry out electrical and logical link of the processor and other parts of the computer.

The modern approach consists that the given chips of a surrounding of the processor are usually presented by the specialised chipset which is named as a chip set (chipset). Implementation of potential possibilities of the central processor unit depends On operation of this set. Therefore the inner pattern and functionality of a chip set should be closely co-ordinated to the architecture of a concrete variant of the processor. The chip set provides the co-ordinated operation of subsystems of the computer and carries out the control over the main informational streams. Usage of a chip set which has been optimised for the prior processor even if he and approaches to the new processor, often does not allow to realise all its possibilities. Application of optimally designed chip set is a high efficiency of the computer at high performance of nested resources. Therefore along with release of new processors practically simultaneous engineering of an appropriate chip set is usually carried out. Without such set the modern processor remains simply a chip, a useless slice of silicon with extremely difficult internal electronic structure presented in millions of semiconducting transistors.

The chip set place in the architecture of the modern computer with the processor of Pentium II shows fig. 1. Here buses and the main informational streams in system which are substantially controlled by a chip set are designated. For this reason it is possible to name a chip set as the core — the central unit of the motherboard.

Fig. 1. The architecture of the computer with the processor of Pentium II 400.

For each generation of processors the sets, as for 386, 486, so for the subsequent developments have been created. Thus there can be some variants of the chip sets, differing structure and number of chips, and also the corporation-manufacturer, functionality of sets and efficiency of their operation.

The greatest distribution was received by chip sets of the corporation of Intel which inspects a considerable share of the market of processors and chip sets.

Chip sets for processors of the corporation of Intel of Pentium, Pentium MMX and similar processors of other corporations are not released any more. However motherboards with the chip sets oriented to given processors not only are in maintenance, but also continue to be on sale. It, for example, such chip sets, as i430FX, i430VX, i430HX, i430TX.

By the first of them has been released i430FX. It has the most simple architecture and modest enough set of functions, nevertheless, it supports to 128 Mb of memory EDO DRAM.

The following development which has received a wide circulation, — i430VX. This chip set except traditional types of memory FPM DRAM and EDO DRAM already supported memory SDRAM.

And here the chip set i430HX has been oriented to the market of servers. Support of memory FPM DRAM and EDO DRAM, maximum size of the working memory to 512 Mb. Besides, support of dual-processor patterns, an error correction — ESS and parity, and also a number of other features and the functions necessary for development of highly reliable systems, such as servers. However many of these functions remain not claimed in office computers.

Chip sets i430FX and i430VX have step-by-step been superseded by more perfect set i430TX which has gained the big distribution. The architecture of the given chip set has been optimised under processors of Pentium MMX. This set supports FPM DRAM, EDO DRAM and SDRAM, maximum size of the working memory to 256 Mb.

Above affirmed, that computer power depends on perfection of the architecture of a chip set. In favour of the given statement speaks the following fact. Speed of an exchange with memory EDO DRAM for chip sets, Mb per second: i430FX — 35, i430VX — 45, i430HX — 47.

Matching of productivity of motherboards from the same manufacturer with chip sets i430HX and i430TX shows advantage i430TX. For example, at performance of test Business Winstone in Windows environment 95 excess of a metric of productivity has made from 8 % to 13 %.

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To pass to razrelu Motherboards and chip sets