Chipsets are single chips that provide many of the functions of a motherboard. Typically, they integrate the functions of the:
- clock generator
- bus controllers
- system timer
- interrupt controller
- DMA controller
- CMOS/RAM clock
- keyboard controller
The term chipset is also used to refer to the core functionality of a motherboard. Chipsets, which are sometimes called PCIsets, are a group of microcircuits that orchestrate the flow of data to and from key components of a personal computer (PC). In this way, chipsets can maximize processor capabilities. Some chipsets are also used by sound cards.
Chipsets are used when designers create a new motherboard. They perform all of the vital functions of a computer system, including those functions that once required separate chips. In this way, chipsets replace the dozens of chips that used to crowd a motherboard, requiring detailed compatibility testing by board designers. A chipset is a collection of integrated circuits (IC) that are used together for some specific purpose, such as for a control circuitry in a PC. Chipsets comprise the architecture of an integrated circuit, such as for a modem card or a computer central processing unit (CPU). Typically, chipsets are used in Pentium II, Pentium III, and PowerPC processors.
A PC motherboard chip is part of the collection of chips and controllers on a motherboard. A motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer. Motherboards are also called mainboards or logic boards. A motherboard chip that is part of a chipset performs vital functions for a PC, such as routing data from hard drive, memory to CPU, and ensuring that peripherals and expansion cards can communicate. Chipsets are used to interface the CPU to the motherboard and determine many of the basic capabilities of a system. Companies that manufacture chipsets include Intel, VIA, AMD, ALi, SiS, ServerWorks, and Nvidia.
Nixdorf / CC BY-SA 3.0