usEnglish       ruRussian       deGerman      

The popular integrated chip sets for Pentium II/III

Evgenie Rudometov, Victor Rudometov.

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

Development of the architecture of the chip sets making a basis of motherboards and defining possibilities of modern computers, have led to development vysokointegrirovannyh the models of specialised sets of the system logic which has become by a basis of popular computers Low End, differing in rather high parametres and the low prices.

Perfection of the architecture and the processing techniques underlying modern chips, have allowed to create vysokointegrirovannye sets of system logic. And if all the functions assigned to them on support of operation of the processor and the main subsystems of the computer was fulfilled several years ago rather by a considerable quantity of units today the set of system logic is presented by 2-3 chips realising possibilities North Bridge and South Bridge. And in some cases the specialised set can be presented even one chip of the high integration incorporating all necessary resources, typical for a modern chip set. Moreover, with development of computer processing techniques there was a possibility of implementation of rather difficult subsystems such as, for example, AGP 2X/4X videoadapter as a part of one of chip set chips. It is accepted to name similar specialised sets of system logic as the integrated chip sets. Possibilities of these units and their popularity among implementators and potential users continuously grows.

For the sake of justice it is necessary to mark, that embedding of video resources in structure of chip sets is, generally speaking, logical continuation of development of the modern microcircuit technique which characteristic feature is up-integrating of computer units. Really step-by-step such interface resources have been transferred to structure of chip sets, as ports of hard disks and USB, controllers of system (operative) memory and PCI, digital part AC ’ 97 etc . Even more often in this list there are controllers of a local area network and a resource of hardware monitoring. Last, by the way, provide possibility hand-held, automanual, and in polednee time and automatic check behind a state of operation of hardware ( Presence of possibilities of hardware monitoring facilitates optimisation of operation of computer accessories both in regular, and in the forced modes of their maintenance.

All specified integrated resources are necessary and, as a rule, standard attributes of the modern computers, possessing thanking it wide functionality. And thanks to current technologies the given resources realised as a part of integrated chip sets, are characterised by rather low price that stipulates high popularity of similar solutions. They are especially popular in mass computers of the lowest price category — computers Low End.

Computers of this sector of the market, as a rule, are oriented to office applications and the tasks which are not demanding high efficiency from integrated components which concern, for example, the built in video resources. Such computers are optimal for office operation, the Internet, e-mail, information retrieval systems etc . They also are popular for house application among the users limited in financial assets with whom they can to select for computer equipment acquisition.

However, estimating possibilities of computers of the given category, it is necessary to mark, that they possess also some lacks. First of all it concerns sometimes to smaller productivity of similar arrangements in comparison with the systems created on the basis of traditional components. Besides, the architecture of computers with the integrated resources interferes with their changeover in the course of periodic performance of operations of upgrade of promptly becoming outdated engineering.

However the low price and, as consequence, high popularity of the integrated solutions do not allow to ignore this sector of the market. Appropriate chip sets are released by all main manufacturers of specialised sets of system logic whom Intel corporations concern, VIA, ALi, SiS.

Their main products oriented to systems with processors of Pentium II/III are more low presented .

i815 Chipset, i815E Chipset

Chip set i815 (i815 Chipset) and its more powerful modification i815E (i815E Chipset), developed and released by Intel corporation, are constructed on the basis of usage habovoj architectures (Accelerated Hub Architecture), for the first time tested in i810. Chip sets i815 and i815E are intended for high-powered computers with processors of type of Pentium II/III and Celeron with Slot 1 plugs and Socket 370. These sets of system logic are oriented to systems with frequency of bus FSB 66, 100, 133 MHz.

The built in controller of memory supports: the 64-bit interface of memory SDRAM, a memory size — from 32 to 512 Mb; chips SDRAM 16, 64, 128, 256 Mbit; to 3 DIMM PC100 SDRAM units (double sided DIMM) at 100 MHz of the bus of memory, 2 (double sided DIMM), or 3 (single sided DIMM) DIMM PC133 SDRAM units at 133 MHz of the bus of memory etc .

The built in resources support: AGP 2.0 with support of modes AGP 1X/2X/4X, the integrated drawing on a basis i752 (to 1600x1200 at 8 bits of colour and at 85 Hz of vertical scanning, 24 bits of 230 MHz RAMDAC etc .); PCI Rev.2.0, to 6 arrangements PCI; 2 (i815) or 4 (i815E) port USB; 2 ports IDE or with UltraDMA/33/66 (i815), or with UltraDMA/33/66/100 (i815E); interface LPC (Low Pin Count) controller LAN (i815E); AC ’ 97 audio c 2 (i815) or with 6 (i815E) channels; ACPI and other functions and arrangements.

The chip set i815 consists of 3 chips: 82815 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH), 82801AA I/O Controller Hub (ICH), 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH).

The chip set i815E consists of 3 chips: 82815 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH), 82801BA I/O Controller Hub (ICH2), 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH).

The architecture of sets of system logic i815 and i815E has formed a basis for development and release of chip sets i815P and i815EP. Last became the actual receiver i440BX (i440BX AGPset) — the most popular and mass chip set for all history of computer equipment.

Structure of the computer with a chip set i815E Chipset

VIA Apollo PM133

Chip set VIA Apollo PM133 (VIA Apollo ProSavage PM133) is a specialised set of system logic of VIA corporation. High-powered arrangements are integrated Into structure of this chip set for implementation of basic functions of multimedia. It is created on the basis of VT82C694X (North Bridge from VIA Apollo Pro133A) and video accelerator S3 Savage4 taking into account the experience stored in engineering process and maintenance of the previous models of integrated chip sets, for example such as VIA Apollo PM601, the advanced which model has been named VIA Apollo PLE133.

Chip set VIA Apollo PM133 is oriented to systems with usage of processors with Slot 1 plugs and Socket 370: Celeron, Pentium II/III, VIA Cyrix III (Cyrix Joshua). It is calculated for operation with frequency of the bus of the processor (FSB) 66, 100 and 133 MHz.

Supports synchronous and pseudo-synchronous functional modes of buses, memory PC133/100/66 SDRAM and VCM 133 SDRAM — to 1,5 Gbytes, 3 DIMM, specification AGP v.2.0 etc .

Resources of video processing Savage4 are integrated into the chip set architecture 2D/3D/Video Accelerator c AGP 4X 128 bits Single Cycle 2D/3D. The given graphics resources are characterised by following properties: support from 2 to 32 Mb Frame Buffer, 300 MHz RAMDAC, productivity — 8 M polygons in a second and 140 M pikselov in a second.

Usage of external AGP v.2.0 1X/2X/4X videoadapter is possible.

The chip set has the built in resources: 10/100 Base-T Ethernet controller, AC ’ 97 audio, MC ’ 97 modem, Super I/O, IOAPIC, hardware monitoring, 2 ports UltraDMA/100/66/33 EIDE, 4 ports USB, to 5 arrangements PCI, Advanced Power Management etc .

Chip set VIA Apollo PM133 consists of two chips: VT8605 — North Bridge, 552 BGA; VT8231 — South Bridge, 352 BGA.

Structure of the computer with chip set VIA Apollo PM133

ALi Aladdin TNT2

Chip set ALi Aladdin TNT2 is oriented to processors Celeron, Pentium II/III with operating frequencies of 66/100 MHz which is hooked up through Slot 1 plugs and Socket 370.

The chip set incorporates integrated high-powered 2D/3D video resources.

Chip set basis is chip North Bridge M1631 released in standard BGA 556.

A part M1631 controllers support a memory 64-bit wire, memory size EDO/SDRAM/VCM — to 1,5 Gbytes, frequency of memory of 66/100/133 MHz, PCI 2.2, to 6 arrangements PCI, ACPI, SMM etc .

The built in resources of a drawing use graphics kernel NVIDIA Riva TNT2. For chip set ALi Aladdin TNT2 usage of 2 modes is possible: SMA (Shared Memory Architecture) and LFB (Local 64-bit Frame Buffer). In mode SMA under a video memory the dynamic storage part is selected, and in mode LFB special memory — Frame Buffer which size for M1631может to make 4/8/16/32 Mb uses  .

As a part of chip set ALi Aladdin TNT2 c chip M1631 North Bridge chips South Bridge M1535D or M1543C can be used.

Structure of the computer with chip set ALi Aladdin TNT2


Chip set SiS630 is SiS corporation product. The complete, official name — SiS630 Slot 1/Socket 370 2D/3D Ultra-AGP Single Chipset. It is intended for desktop computers and notebooks in which structure processors of Pentium II/III c Slot 1 plugs and Socket 370 use   . It is calculated for operation with frequency of the bus of the processor 66, 100 MHz. It is constructed on one chip.

On the architecture and functionality in many respects reminds vysokointegrirovannyj chip set SiS540 oriented to processors with Socket 7 plug .

Chip set SiS630 supports synchronous and asynchronous modes Host/DRAM.

The integrated controller of memory DRAM supports the 64-bit bus of memory; frequency of the bus of memory to 133 MHz; maximum size — to 1,5 Gbytes, to 3 DIMM (6 banks) 3,3 In SDRAM with chips 16, 64, 128, 256, 512 Mbit SDRAM; PC100/PC133 SDRAM; VCM SDRAM (NEC Virtual Channel Memory) etc .

Into structure vysokointegrirovannogo a chip set enter a subsystem of implementation of the graphics functions, named UltraAGP: the 128-bit bus with frequency of 133 MHz for data transfer between a graphics kernel and the memory controller. With the 128-bit interface pass-bands to 2 Гбайт/c allow to reach usage UltraAGP . Compatibility with ACP 2.0 is provided , supported AGP 4X. Uses programmed 24-bit True Color RAMDAC with frequency to 270 MHz. Productivity of a videosystem of system (Peak Polygon Rate): 4 M polygons in a second with 16-bit colour, Bilinear Textured, Z Buffered, Alpha Blended etc . Are supported: DirectX 6.0, gamma-correction in modes High Color and True Color.

SSMA architecture (Share System Memory Architecture) allows to select 2, 8, 16, 32, 64 Mb under frejmbufer with linear addressing.

For rise of productivity of a graphics subsystem possibility of usage EGM (Extended Graphics Memory — external graphics memory) from 128 bats is provided  by addressing.

Modes of graphics system are possible at a lower case way (NI) image generations from 640 ґ 480@120 Hz to 1920 ґ 67 1200@80 Hz.

All basic functions traditionally inherent to chip South Bridge, for example, support are included in chip set structure: the keyboard and the manipulator the mouse, 10/100 Mbit Fast Ethernet or 1Mb HomePNA for Home Networking, interface AC ’ 97 with program implementation of functions of audio and the modem. Support is besides, provided: UltraDMA/33 and UltraDMA/66, PCI 2.2, to 4 PCI Master, two independent channels IDE with 16 DW FIFO, 5 ports USB, the serial interface I 2C Bus/SMBus etc . Hardware support of playback of CD/DVD on TV is carried out. Thanks to hardware support AC ’ 97 (functions DSP, a wavetable synthesis etc .) high parametres for a sound, for example, a relation a signal/noise — more than 90 db, a full duplex, 64-golosaja polyphony, WaveTable etc. are reached   .

With chip SiS301 Video Bridge support is provided: NTSC/PAL, screen monitor Digital LCD and second screen monitor CRT. Thus, at the expense of usage SiS301 it is possible to receive the two-monitor system, allowing to output on the second screen monitor, both the independent map, and the map from the first screen monitor.

Chip SiS630 Slot 1/Socket 370 2D/3D Ultra-AGP Single Chipset is released in konstruktive 618 BGA.

Package SiS630 and SiS301 can be added by chip SiS950 Super I/O expanding functions of operation with peripheral devices and carrying out hardware monitoring. It is hooked up SiS950 Super I/O by means of special bus LPC (LPC 1.0).

Structure of the computer with chip set SiS630


Productivity of the systems as which basis the popular integrated chip sets have served, whose parametres have been resulted above, repeatedly considered on popular sites in the Internet, for example, such as TomsHardware, iXBT etc. On the basis of results of testing it is possible to select following features.

Characteristic feature of systems with i815E is good productivity at usage in 16 bits of colour, and also a high speed in office applications. But there are problems in modes from 32 bats of colour. If necessary these problems can be eliminated installation of the external videoadapter that is impossible, for example, at usage of systems with ALi Aladdin TNT2. Nevertheless, these systems show very much the high efficiency of the built in video resources equivalent to usually standard solutions with videoadapters of type Vanta. However in some cases quality of 3D-video maps, as a rule, slightly concede, to variants with i815E and VIA Apollo PM133 and SiS630. The last variant, by the way, provides hardware support of decoding DVD.

It is necessary to mark, that each of the presented variants has the strong weak features. Some can be compensated by means of software, others — installation of additional chips and cards. However, despite some limitations, this sector of computer accessories continues to develop, expanding number of the supporters.

To pass to razrelu Motherboards and chip sets