KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 1 Utilization of new facilities (new RAM types, On chip sets new buses, improved EIDE, etc.) The vendors Module 2d describes what chip sets are, and how There are several suppliers of chip sets for the they function on the motherboards. This module is motherboard: subdivided into the following pages: Intel SIS Opti I recommend that you read all the pages one by Via one. Just follow the links "Next page" to get ALi through the textbook. I hope you find the Intel has hitherto been the leader in supplying information useful! chip sets to the Pentium motherboard. Therefore, let us just mention their chip sets, which have What is a chip set? astronomical names. The Neptune chip set (82434NX) was introduced The chip set is very important to the modern PC in June 1994. It replaced the Mercury set and its performance. Many technologies meet on (82434LX). In both chip sets, there were problems the motherboard and are "glued" together via with the PCI bus. In January 1995 Intel introduced these controllers, which we call the "chip set". the first Triton, where everything worked. This chip set supports some new features: it supports EDO RAM, and it offers bus master integrated EIDE control and NSP (Native Signal Processing - one of the many new creations, which was soon When we speak about buses and motherboards, forgotten). we are also speaking about chip sets. The chip However, the following chip sets were of much sets are a bunch of intelligent controller chips, higher quality, and within very few years they which are on any motherboard. lead to several new generations of chip sets, each The controllers are closely tied to the CPU, in that of them more powerful and offering great new they control the buses around the CPU. Without features. the chip sets, neither RAM nor I/O buses could The first chip sets for the Pentium boards function together with the CPU: Triton first and second The interest in chip sets and their performance started in late 1995, when the Pentium processor became more popular. The Triton controllers were the first chip sets in this trend. 82430FX from late 1995 was Intel's next chip set and the first Triton. In February 1996 the second generation of Triton arrived. Two new chip sets were introduced: The 82430VX and 82430HX. The last (HX) was the fastest one. VX and HX New technologies - new chip set The two sets were similar, yet different. 430HX consisted of two chips. It was designed for the more Therefore, the chip sets are quite central professional PCs. 430VX consisted of four chips, but the cost was slightly lower than HX. It was aimed at components on the motherboards. When new the home use PC market. Let us look at the contents technological features are introduced (and this of each chip set: happens continuously) they are often Chip set Contents accompanied by new chip sets. The new chip sets often enable: 82430HX 82439HX System Controller (TXC) + 82371SB PCI ISA IDE Accelerator Higher speed on one or more buses KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 2 82430VX 82437VX System Controller (TVX) described. But the VX set had two other facilities + two 82438VX Data Path Units (TDX) to offer: Capability for SMBA (Shared Memory + 82371SB PCI ISA IDE Accelerator Buffer Architecture). That means among other Common to both chip sets is 82371SB, which is a things, that you can integrate the video card on the "PCI ISA IDE accelerator chip". It is also called motherboard with 1 or 2 MB standard RAM, from PIIX3, which some may recognize from the the working RAM. A technology, which is used Windows 95 device driver, which comes with the only in the lowest cost PCs, and which soon was ASUS T2P4 board. abandoned. Also, the VX set also supported the fast RAM A bridge to the I/O system type SD-RAM. HX did not. The VX set could The chip makes a bridge between the CPU, ISA and control up to 128 MB RAM, but it could not PCI bus. The news was, that it permitted concurrent cache above 64 MB RAM. activity in all three locations, thus a new form of HX controlled 512 MB RAM and was the only multitasking. This is significant for daily use. All data Intel Pentium chip set to cache above 64 MB exchange to and from I/O units cross this intersection, which now has achieved greater width: RAM. The VX and HX chip sets are both out. They were replaced by the TX chip set, which was the last Intel chip set for Socket 7 mounted CPUs. Today Ali and VIA produces chip sets for Socket 7 motherboards. . Intel TX chip set US2 and EIDE The last chip set to Pentium processors were New in the chip was also the host function for named 82430TX, which supports two new hot USB. It is the Universal Serial Bus, which was technologies: not much use at this time. Finally, the chip SD-RAM included a EIDE Bus Master control. In short that Ultra DMA means, that EIDE components like hard disks, to Ultra DMA was also called ATA/33, and it is a some extent can deliver their data directly to standard for harddisk interface, which permits RAM without taking up CPU time. EIDE hard disks to transfer at up to 33 MBps. This improved EIDE standard is mostly marketed under the name Ultra DMA. Tests show that Ultra DMA results in a speed increase of 25-75 percent over the traditional EIDE PIO mode 4. Ultra Above, you see the 82371SB chip and below, DMA is the new EIDE standard and has been again, its placement relative to CPU and buses: vastly enhanced since this chip set. The controllers in the TX chip set Chip set Chips included 82430TX 82439TX System Controller (TXC) 82371AB PCI ISA IDE Accelerator The TX set is an update and improvement of the VX set. Relative to this, the TX firstly supports SD RAM and Ultra DMA hard disks. Two important technologies. But the TX-set cannot cache above 64 MB RAM, and that was a problem. Please see this article on this subject. The differences between HX and VX It was generally accepted, that the HX set yielded the best performance of the two chip sets KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 3 Photos taken with Canon Powershot 600 The TX chip set was Intel's last and final set for Socket 7 motherboards. After that VIA and ALi took over and continued this work. KarbosGuide.com.Module 2d.03a Non-Intel chip sets (mostly for for Super 7 motherboards) What is Super 7? After Intel aborted the Socket 7 motherboards, other This figure is pretty close to the Super 7 chip set vendors took over. AMD supplied us with new described here below as well as to Intel chip sets powerfull CPUs, and new chip sets were required. Since Intel no longer develops CPUs or chip sets like LX and BX. for Socket 7 motherboards, AMD and others have To implement the 100 MHz the design has to be done a lot to continue the life of the Socket 7. well laid out. A cooling element on the north Companies like VIA, ALi and SIS are all bridge of the chip set is sometimes used when the producing inexpensive and high performing chip system bus reaches 100 MHz. sets. These vendors are giving Intel a hard time The Super 7 motherboards come from several since their chip sets offer Pentium II performance vendors. FIC supplies boards with 2 MB L2 from the simpler, low-cost Socket 7 motherboards cache. including AGP and 100 MHz bus. VIA Apollo MVP3 Two bridges It is interesting to follow companies like Via. This Here you see the architecture of a modern chip set chip set for Socket 7 motherboards promises very consisting of two chips: a north and a south good performance with its 100 MHz bus bridge. Both bridges are essentially routers. This connecting the CPU with the L2 cache and means that they route data traffic from one bus possible PC100 SDRAM. Other features include: (network) to another. The north bridge takes all AGP graphics the heavy traffic, and the south bridge routes in to Supports up to 1 GB RAM in 64 Mbit a lot of different narrow routes: FPM/EDO/SDRAM/PC100 modules 2 MB L2 cache support Virtual Clock Synchronization (VCS) for optimal timing. The Apollo MVP3 chip set consists of a VT82C598AT system controller (476 pin BGA, the "north bridge") and a VT82C586B PCI to ISA bridge (208 pin PQFP, the "south bridge"): KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 4 KarbosGuide.com.Module 2d.03b ALi Aladdin 5 Acer Laboratories Inc in Taiwan produces chip sets as well as other products. This Aladdin V The VIA Apollo MVP3 is a good chip set to be chip set is for modern Socket 7 CPUs like AMD used with modern high-end Socket 7 compatible K6-2 running up to 350 MHz with a 100 MHz CPUs like the AMD K6-2. system bus. Tests show that also K6 and even Pentium MMX It consists of two chips, a north and a south CPUs can work with this chip set using a 100 bridge. There features are: MHz bus. M1541(AGP, CPU-to-PCI Bridge, Memory VIA Apollo MVP4 Cache & Buffer Controller) This chip set was introduced in late 1998. It gives Interface for all socket 7 compatible processors new life to the Socket 7, including an in-chip graphics controller. Most important is the new ATA- PBSRAM and Memory Cache L2 controller, 66 interface for improved hard disk performance. internal MESI tag bits (16K*2) and Tag RAM The chip set also consists of two chips, a north (16K*10) and a south bridge: High performance FPM/EDO/SDRAM DRAM controller PCI 2.1 compliant bus interface Smart deep buffer design for CPU-to-DRAM, CPU-to-PCI, and PCI-to-DRAM Flexible 64-bit memory bus interface for the best DRAM upgradeability and ECC/Parity design From VIA's own material: 456-pin BGA VT82C501 SMA North Bridge M1543 (PCI-to-ISA Bus Bridge with Super I/O) Integrated advanced 2D/3D AGP graphics with ACPI support, green function setup engine and DVD hardware acceleration 2-channel dedicated Ultra-33 IDE Master controller 100 MHz CPU/memory bus 2-port USB controller, SMBus controller, PS/2 66/75/83/95/100 MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) Keyboard/Mouse controller capabilities Super I/O (Floppy Disk Controller, 2 serial port/1 Advanced ECC memory controller supports up to parallel port) support. 768 MB PC100 SDRAM, Virtual Channel SDRAM, Two full function universal asynchronous receiver/ EDO, FPM RAM transmitters (UARTs), a flexible high performance Compatible with all Socket 7 processors internal data separator with send/receive 16 byte Synchronous/Asynchronous AGP/ PCI/memory FIFOs. operation Serial Infra Red for wireless communications with 492-pin BGA package VT82C686 Super South other devices. Bridge Swap drives A & B. Integrated AC-97 2.0 (meets PC98 Basic Audio SPP, PS/2, EPP and ECP parallel port. spec.)/SoundBlaster-compatible legacy audio 328-pin BGA Integrated Super I/O: FDC, parallel port, serial See ALi's own homepage about port, IR, Voltage, temperature, and fan speed hardware monitoring this chip set. UDMA/33 / ATA-66 Advanced mobile PC power management SiS USB Also SiS produces a chip set for ACPI Socket 7. It holds two chips and compatible with all VIA Socket 7 and Slot 1 north bridges is called Sis 530: 352-pin BGA package So much for these chip sets. See VIA's own site This chip set is one of the first to implement the for more information. ATA/66 interface for EIDE units. SiS630 KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 5 most people, since the Pentium Pro was aimed at The SiS630 chip set (only one chip) is more the server market. The situation changed in 1997 advanced and is compliant with the chip set trend with the Pentium II. earlier described here at KarbosGuide.com. It is Let us review the chip sets in this family PC99 and PCI 2.2 compatible. It supports Pentium chronologically: II/IIIs and Celerons. On RAM it supports PC-133 SDRAM as well as 82450GX VCRAM (?), and it holds three dual inline This chip set came out in 1995, It is supporting quad CPU configurations. That is PCs with 4 Pentium Pros. memory modules (DIMMs) with up to 1.5Gb main memory. SiS630 also supports Ultra ATA 82440FX - Natoma 66 IDE and five "OpenHCI" USB ports. This was for a long time Intel's most widely used Something called ultra-AGPTM architecture is chip set for 6th. generation CPUs. also mentioned as well as digital flat panel This chip set can handle 2 CPUs on the same interfaces for LCD and TV output. Even 10/100M motherboard. 440FX consists of four controllers. Fast Ethernet is included on-chip. As for features, it is like the 82430HX set. The 630 is consisting of the north bridge and the Common for these chip sets is the 82371SB PCI- SiS 960 (a south bridge I/O chip) as well as the ISA accelerator, which provides good real 128-bit 2D/3D graphics engine (SiS300) all performance on the I/O into one single chip. buses. For K6-II too.. For the K6-III SIS has introduced the SiS540 chip This chip set is good and set, which has the exactly same features as SiS630. fast. However, it supports The 630 set costs $35 while the AMD set is cheaper ($29). neither SDRAM, Ultra DMA, or AGP. These Soyo ETEQ features are found in the following chip set 82440LX. The world's biggest motherboard manufacture used a ETEQ 8236638AT/6629 AGP chip set (ETEQ 6638 for 82440LX short) which gave new performance using a bus connecting the CPU with the L2 cache at 100 MHz. 440LX is from August 1997. The news were The RAM worked at only 66 MHz. No more information available - but tests shows USB, SD-RAM and Ultra DMA. Thus, this chip that their board SY 5EH5/M (When are set is equivalent to 430TX. Taiwanese manufacturers going to start naming Another new feature was the AGP, which is a their products something easy to remember like high speed graphics bus (Accelerated Graphics s525?) performs very well with AMD K6-300 at 3 Port). The AGP-bus runs at 66 MHz - twice the X 100 MHz. The Soyo chip set is produced by speed of the PCI bus. This gives new power to the VIA and is probably the MVP3 set in new video system, and it frees the PCI bus from all the packing. heavy video work. The AGP adapters also extend Chip sets for Intel's P6 processors their memory using parts of the motherboard RAM as a bit map cache. This model illustrates the architecture: Chip sets for Pentium Pro Intel's Pentium Pro was an very early P6 processor, but with Pentium II this platform became very popular. The 6th. generation CPUs, Pentium Pro and Pentium II, have their own chip sets. Back in 1995 and 1996 this platform was not very interesting to KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 6 under the green cooling element in the center of the picture: The chip set promised better bandwidth for PCI and AGP using a Quad Port technology, which is not explained anywhere. It was expected that the BX chip set should support the IEEE1394 bus (FireWire) but it does not. The Multi I/O controller On all modern P6 based motherboards you find a so-called multi I/O controller. It is a chip which traditionally connects to the ISA bus. It controls ports like COM, LPT, KBD etc. On many BX based motherboards you find the 82440BX Winbond 83977 controller: The 440BX chip set was released on April the 15th 1998. In time it became the most popular for 82440EX Pentium IIs as well as Celerons and Pentium IIIs. The EX chip set is a The chip set contains the 82443BX Host Bridge discount version of the (north bridge) and the 82371EB PIIX4E (south LX set. The chip set only supports DIMM sockets bridge): with up to only 256 MB RAM and just three PCI slots. To be used with the inexpensive Celeron The system bus speed cartridges. was increased to 100 MHz. This chip was 82443EX PCI AGP designed for the Controller (PAC) Pentium II and III 82371AB PCI-TO- chips, which ran at 350, 400, 450, 500, etc. MHz . ISA/IDE Xcelerator The 100 MHz system bus speed is multiplied with (PIIX4) clock factors from 3.5 up to 8. The BX chip set controls up to 512 MB of VIA Apollo Pro memory (100 MHz SDRAM). A motherboard like Asus P2B can clock the 100 Via also produces chip sets for Intel's Slot 1 MHz system bus from 2 to 8 times - theoretically cartridges (Celeron, Pentium II, and Pentium III) allowing the CPU to work with a clock frequency and for socket 370. They have become the second of up to 800 MHz! largest producer of chip sets, and their products Other motherboards (i.e. EPoX P2-133A) allow are used by major vendors like Compaq and Dell. the system bus to reach 133 MHz. Abit's BX6 ver. The Apollo+ set is much similar to Intel's BX chip 2.0 even goes up to 153 set. It consists of two chips of similar size. It takes MHz using the BX chip set. up to 1 GB RAM where BX only handles 512 In that case the you need MB. cooling of the north bridge Newer versions of the chip set support PC133 controller unit. SDRAM and later in 2001 support for PC266 Here you see the north DDR RAM is expected. bridge controller situated The following is taken from VIA's own material. very close to the slot 1 connection. It is hiding Apollo Pro+ KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 7 The VIA Apollo Pro Plus consists of two devices. You see the north bridge to the left: Intel has developed some high-powered chip sets for its Pentium II, Pentium III and Xeon processors The VT82C693 combines The GX chip set is the high power chip set for with the new workstations using Pentium II's - Slot 1 or Slot 2. VT82C596A, a BGA- An upgraded version of BX you might say, with packaged southbridge improved memory management (support for up to with a full set of mobile 2 GB SDRAM) and four USB ports. power management features for high performance, power-conscious desktop and 82450NX mobile designs. VT82C693 North Bridge Supports all Slot 1 (Intel Pentium ® II) and With Intel introduction of the Socket 370 (Intel Celeron ®) processors Pentium II Xeon, 450NX was AGP / PCI / ISA Mobile and Deep Green PC Ready the first chip set for this platform. It allows 4 or 8 66 / 100 MHz CPU external bus speed (internal CPUs on the motherboard, using up to 8 GB RAM. 450MHz and above) Another new feature is the 66 MHz PCI bus. This chip AGP v1.0 and PCI 2.1 compliant. Supports set is for servers. SideBand Addressing (SBA) mode. Concurrent CPU and AGP access Supports FP, EDO, and SDRAM Different DRAM types may be used in mixed The 450NX PCI set combinations consists in its basic Supports 8 banks up to 1GB DRAM 5-2-2-2-2-2-2-2 back-to-back accesses for EDO version of four DRAM components: 6-1-1-1-2-1-1-1 back-to-back accesses for SDRAM 82451NX Memory and Pipelined transfers up to 533 MB/sec Supports up to five PCI masters I/O Bridge Controller Windows TM 95 OSR-2 VXD and integrated (MIOC) Windows TM 98 / NT5 miniport driver support 82454NX PCI Expander Bridge (PXB) VT82C596A South Bridge 82452NX RAS/CAS Generator (RCG) PC98-Compatible Mobile Power Management: Supports both ACPI (Advanced Configuration and 82453NX Data Path Multiplexor (MUX). Power Interface) and legacy (APM) power This PCI set does not include AGP, being management intended for use in servers only. If AGP is Sideband signal support for PC/PCI and serial interrupt for docking and non-docking applications required you should go for the 440GX chip set. Supports external APIC interface for symmetrical The 450NX Basic is made for servers using up to multiprocessor configurations 4 Xeons, where the full version supports up to 8. USB v.1.0 and Intel Universal HCI v.1.1 compatible Microsoft Windows TM 95 and plug and 82440ZX play BIOS compliant Supports ATAPI compliant devices including DVD devices This new discount chip set comes in two versions, Integrated USB Controller, UltraDMA-33 master one for 66 MHz and one for 100 MHz bus. From mode and EIDE controller what I know, it only VIA and S3 allows two RAM A product produced by S3 VIA, code named modules. SavageNB, will combine the best of S3's Savage4 graphics engine with VIA's Apollo Pro core logic design. By integrating the two key technologies, S3 and VIA effectively combine three components (North Bridge, the graphics controller and frame buffer) into a single chip configuration. More chip sets for Intel's P6 processors Five Intel chip sets for 100 MHz RAM 82440GX KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 8 Here you see a comparison of Intel's 100 MHz chip sets: Name of 82440BX 82440GX 82450NX 82450NX 82440ZX chip set Basic Full Number 2 2 5 9 2 A new type of memory controller with built-in of chips graphics technology. Cartridge Slot One Slot One Slot Two Slot Two Slot 1 Support for up to 512 MB SDRAM. Slot Two Socket 370 Built-in audio-codec controller. No ISA bus! Max. 1 GB 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB 512 MB? RAM 810 is an inexpensive chip set built on the BX technology. However, the new memory bus will PCI Bus One 32 One 32 Two 32 Four 32 One 32 bit bit bit bit bit come in other chip sets as well. The built-in One 64 Two 64 audio-codec controller enables software audio and bit bit modem implementations. This meens that no AGP Bus 1 1 n/a n/a 1 sound card or modem is required. And finally we see the first attempt to produce modern PC's USB 2 4 2 2 2 Ports without the old ISA bus. Chips in 810 The chip set consists of three chips: KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.06 Intel's i810 82810 Graphics 421 Ball Grid Array Memory (BGA) Controller Hub Intro to Intel 810 82801 Integrated 241 Ball Grid Array Controller Hub (BGA) With i810, Intel has 82802 Firmware Hub 32-pin PLCC or 40- launched the first chip set pin TSOP of a new generation. In late April 1999 the 810 "Whitney" chip set was introduced. This set is new in several aspects. The Accelerated Hub Architecture 133.000.000 X 8 byte). Usually we talk about north and south bridges in chip sets. These refer to the two controllers a chip set usually consists of. Intel replaces these terms with "hubs". The new thing in this hub architecture is, that the two controllers not are connected by the PCI bus. Instead they connect via a new Interlink dedicated bus. This is a high speed bus, currently with twice the bandwidth of the PCI bus. This architecture resembles the new K7 Athlon point to point channel. Also see the MCH below. 266 MB/sec Graphics Memory Controller Hub The interlink bus The 82810 Graphics Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) operates at 133 MHz in is a MCH "north bridge" including a graphics controller and using Direct AGP (integrated AGP, 2X mode. Being 64 bit where the graphics controller is directly connected to wide this gives a the system RAM) operating at 100 MHz. bandwidth of 266 The 82810 chip features a "Hardware Motion MB/sec (2 X Compensation" to improve soft DVD video and KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.0 9 digital video out port for digital flat panel Here you see a dump from the Windows -driver monitors. The graphics controller is a version of that goes with the chip set: Intel's new model 752. Optional, the chip set can be equipped with a display cache of 4MB RAM to be used for "Z-buffering". Dynamic Video Memory Technology (D.V.M.T.) is an architecture that offers good performance for the Value PC segment through efficient memory utilization and "Direct AGP". A new improved version of the SMBA (Shared Memory Buffer Architecture)used in earlier chip sets as VX. In the 810 chip set 11 MB system RAM is allocated Many users will not like that you cannot disable to be used by the 3D-graphics controller as frame the graphics controller. So for gamers this chip set buffer, command buffer and Z-buffer. is no good. It was never really accepted by the 82801 I/O Controller Hub motherboard manufactures, nor by the press. This "south bridge", the 82801 (ICH), employs an However, I liked it ... accelerated hub to give a direct connection from the graphics and memory to the integrated AC97 (Audio- The new support for software-based sound and Codec) controller, the IDE controllers, the dual USB modem ports, and the PCI bus. This promises increased I/O Will this work, and what are the consequences going performance. to be? 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH) No ISA bus. This is good.we shall soon see a lot The 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH) stores system BIOS more USB-based devices. And it will become and video BIOS in a 4 Mbit EEPROM. In addition, the very easy to built small, inexpensive, and elegant 82802 contains a hardware Random Number Generator (RNG), which (perhaps and in time) will PCs using all the integrated hardware and only enable better security, stronger encryption, and connecting external units using the very handy digital signing in the Internet. USB cabling. AC97 100 MHz support The Integrated Audio-Codec 97 controller enables The 810 chip set is made for Intel Celeron software audio and modem by using the processor to processors. But so far these processors only work run sound and modem software. It will require with a system bus frequency of 66 MHz. Why does software, but using this you need no modem or the chip set then support 100 MHz? The obvious soundcard. reason is that Intel planed to move the Pentium III This feature is smart if you do not use audio or processors to a Socket 370 platform. And the modem on a regular basis. It adds a heavy work to Celerons comes operating at a 100 MHz bus frequency. This is good news, and it all happened in the CPU, which has to act as a modem and as a 2000 and 2001. sound card beside its regular tasks. Go for i815E After the arrival of i815E in June 2000, that is the Karbo's conclusion chip set to go for. It holds all the nice features from i810 plus a lot of great news. The 82810 controller represent a new generation of low-priced chip sets. I find these aspects interesting: Integration of a powerful graphics accelerator The RAMDAC is of 230 MHz giving a max. 2D- resolution of 1280 X 1024 pixels with 24 bit color depth and a refresh rate of 85 Hz. The graphics controller offers 3D acceleration with both DirextX and OpenGL support. I found the performance to be quite OK for non- game use. The visual quality of the screen images seemed to match the out put from mid-range graphics adapters from ATI and Matrox. I could live with this graphics without any problems.
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