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EISA - Extended Industry Standard Architecture

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					EISA - Extended Industry Standard
Architecture
Extended Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened
to EISA and frequently pronounced "eee-suh") that extends the ISA standard to a 32-bit
interface. It was developed in part as an open alternative to the proprietary "Micro
Channel Architecture (MCA)" that IBM introduced in its PS/2 computers. It is a bus
standard for IBM compatible computers. It was announced in late 1988 by PC clone
vendors as a counter to IBM's use of its proprietary Micro channel Architecture (MCA)
in its PS/2 series.

EISA extends the AT bus, which the PC clone Vendors retroactively renamed to the !SA
bus to avoid infringing IBM's trademark on its PC/AT computer, to 32 bits and allows
more than one CPU to share the bus. The bus mastering support is also enhanced to
provide access to 4 GB of memory. Unlike MCA, EISA can accept older XT and ISA
boards – the lines and slots for EISA are a superset of ISA.

EISA was much favored by manufacturers due to the proprietary nature of MCA, and
even IBM produced some machines supporting it. It was somewhat expensive to
implement, so it never became particularly popular in desktop PCs. However, it was
reasonably successful in the server market, as it was better suited to bandwidth-
intensive tasks. Most EISA cards produced were either SCSI or network cards. EISA was
also available on some non-IBM compatible machines such as the AlphaServer, HP
9000-D, SGI Indigo2 and MIPS Magnum.

				
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