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    2021-10-21 17:40:03
    What is a Chipset?


    Ⅰ Introduction
    Ⅱ Function of Chipset
    Ⅲ Chipset development
    Ⅳ Chipset drive

    Ⅰ Introduction

    In the field of computers, the term "chipset" is usually a set of integrated circuit chips on a computer motherboard or expansion card. The manufacturer of chipsets can be independent of the manufacturer of the motherboard. For example, the PC motherboard chipset includes NVIDIA's NFORCE chipset and the Viental KT880 of the VIA's KT880, which is for AMD processors, or Intel chipsets.

    Intel x58 North Bridge Chipset.jpg

    Intel x58 North Bridge Chipset

    Chipset is the core component of the motherboard. If the central processor (CPU) is the heart of the entire computer system, the chipset will be the torso of the entire body. The manufacturer of the design chipset in the computer is Core Logic. For the motherboard, the chipset almost determines the function of this motherboard, which in turn affects the performance of the entire computer system. The chipset is the soul of the motherboard. The advantages and disadvantages of the chipset performance determine the quality of the motherboard performance and the level of level. This is because the current CPU has a wide variety, and the features are different. If the chipset cannot work with the CPU, it will seriously affect the overall performance of the computer.

    In general, the name of the chipset is the name of the North Bridge chip, such as the North Bridge chip of the AMDA75 chipset is a 75 Hudson D3 chipset, but also a North Bridge chip that supports the FX 8150 processor A75 series. The mainstream is: A75, A55, 990FX, 990X, 970, 870, 880G, 890GX, 890FX, 790GX, 785G, 780G, 770, 760G, E-APU, etc. The reason is that the Northbridge chip is the most important part of the dominant role in the motherboard chipset. 

    Ⅱ Function of Chipset

    The motherboard chipset almost determines all the features of the motherboard. The type of CPU, the system bus frequency, memory type, capacity and performance, and the graphics card slot specification are determined by the North Bridge chip in the chipset. The type and number of the expansion slot, the type, and the number of expansion interfaces (such as USB2.0 / 1.1, IEEE1394, serial port, parallel port, notebook VGA output interface), etc., is determined by the bridge of the chipset. Some chipsets are also determined by the display performance and audio playback performance of the computer system due to incorporating 3D accelerated display (integrated display chips), AC'97 sound decoding.

    AMD chipset.jpg

    AMD chipset

    The desktop chipset requires strong performance, good compatibility, interchangeability, and scalability. In the earliest notebook design, there is no separate notebook chipset, which uses the same chipset as the desktop. With the development of the technology, the appearance of the notebook's special CPU has the adaptive notebook dedicated chipset. The notebook chipset requires lower energy consumption, good stability, but the comprehensive performance and extension ability are also the lowest of the three.

    The comprehensive performance and stability of the server/workstation chipset are the highest. Some products even require the full-year full load. It is also the highest in the supported memory capacity. It can support up to more than ten GB or even tens of GB of memory capacity. Its data transmission speed and data security requirements are the highest, so the storage device also uses the SCSI interface instead of the IDE interface, and the multiplier uses RAID to improve performance and ensure data security.

    Ⅲ Chipset development

    So far, manufacturers who can produce chipsets have Intel (USA), VIA (China Taiwan), SIS (Taiwan, China), AMD (USA), NVIDIA (USA), ATI (Canada), ServerWorks (USA), IBM (US), HP (US) is not many, in which Intel and NVIDIA and the VIA chipset are most common. On the Intel platform of the desktop, Intel's own chipset has the largest market share, and the product line is complete. Other chipset manufacturers are VIA, SIS, ULI. And latest joined manufacturers ATI and NVIDIA have added only a small market share. In addition to NVIDIA, other manufacturers outside NVIDIA are mainly in the low-end and integrated fields. NVIDIA only has medium and high-end products.

    Samsung's memory chipset.jpg

    Samsung's memory chipset

    On the AMD platform, AMD itself usually played a pioneering role with a small market share.  VIA previously occupying the largest market share of the AMD platform chipset. With its NFORCE2, NFORCE3, and the current NFORCE4 series chipset, it becomes the best chipset product of the AMD platform, which has won many market share from VIA, which has become the largest market for market occupation on the AMD platform. While SIS and ULI still play a supporting role, mainly in the middle, low-end and integrated fields.

    In terms of notebooks, the Intel platform has absolute advantages. Intel's own notebook chipsets also account for the largest market. Other manufacturers can only play aid angle and design products for AMD platforms with minimal market share. On the server/workstation, the Intel platform is absolutely advantageous, and Intel's own server/workstation chipset products occupy the most market share. In terms of high-end multi-channel servers based on Intel architectures, IBM and HP have absolute advantages, such as the IBM XA32 and HP F8. They are very excellent high-end multiple server chipset products. However, they are only applied to the company's server products and are not too big. Because the market share of AMD server/workstation is small, it is mainly to adopt AMD home chipset products.

    AMD chipset 2.jpg

    AMD chipset

    The technology of chipsets is developing quickly these years: from ISA, PCI, AGP to PCI-Express, from ATA to SATA, ULTRA DMA technology, dual-channel memory technology, high-speed front-end bus, etc... Each new technology progress brings increased computence performance. In 2004, chipset technology will face major changes. The most striking is the PCI Express bus technology, which will replace PCI and AGP, greatly improve equipment bandwidth, resulting in a revolution of computer technology. On the other hand, the chipset technology is also developing toward high integration, such as the internal memory controller. It greatly reduces the difficulty of designing products in chipset manufacturers. The current chipset products have been integrated audio, network, SATA, RAID, and other functions, which greatly reduce the cost of the user.

    Ⅳ Chipset drive

    Chipset drive is the motherboard driver. The driver is a special program that can communicate with the computer and the device. That is to say, the hardware interface can only control the work of the hardware device. If a device's drive program failed to install it correctly, and it will not work properly. Therefore, the driver is the "hardware soul", "master of hardware", and "bridge between hardware and systems".

    1 South-North Bridge Optimized Correction Procedure

    2 motherboard integrated graphics card, sound card, network card, drive

    3 hard drive

    4 other motherboard related drivers

    The motherboard chipset drive plays a crucial appointment in this communication. It is mainly used to turn on the built-in functionality and characteristics of the motherboard chipset. And the motherboard driver is typically the motherboard identification that manages various peripheral device drivers or patches.

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