Note: This is the June 17, 2006 capture of from the Wayback Machine. This was uploaded to the reloaded ISLESV.NET on June 22, 2023.


  • interacts with all hardware on the system

  • determine system bus speeds

  • handles all addressing functions for the CPU

Components of the Chipset

  • North Bridge

  • South Bridge

  • Super I/O (technically not part of the chipset)

North Bridge

  • System Controller Chip

  • handles the high-speed components of the system

  • directly connects CPU’s FSB to RAM, AGP, etc.

  • determines what CPUs can be used

  • decides how much RAM can be used

  • maps data to memory (previously done by MMC or memory controller chip)

  • dictates refresh cycles and RAS/CAS timings (MMC)

  • determines kind of memory you can use

South Bridge

  • peripheral bus controller (PCB)

  • takes care of slow-speed communication

  • takes care of ISA bus, IDE ports, USB ports, and any other device not specifically handled by the Super I/O chip

Chipset Manufacturers

  • Acer Laboratories, Inc. (ALI)

  • American Micro Devices (AMD)

  • Eteq Components, Ltd.

  • Intel Corporation

  • OPTi

  • PC Chips Manufacturing Limited

  • Silicon Integrated Systems Corporation (SiS)

  • VIA Technologies

Bankrupt Chipset Manufacturers

  • Chips & Technologies (C&S)

  • LSI Logic

  • SMC

  • UNI

  • United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC)

  • VLSI

Features of a computer that are specifically determined by the chipset includes:

  • advanced devices support

  • amount and type of memory supported

  • bus speed, number of buses, and expansion buses supported

  • number of processors, processor speed, CPU voltage

  • power management

Types of Memory Modules


    • 30/72 contacts

    • obsolete

  • DIMM

    • 72/168 contacts

    • very high-density, fast-memory chip

  • Fast Page Mode DRAM

    • faster than standard DRAM

    • principle: once an address has been accessed, it will access the next one, assuming that it will be used next

  • Extended Data Out (EDO)

  • Burst EDO

  • Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM)

  • RIMMs

  • PC-133

  • DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM)

Notes on the Pentium III

  • Pentium III was launched on January 1999

  • differences between PII and PIII: PIII has the 70 Katmai New Instruction (KNI, now called Streaming SIMD Extension. SIMD = Single Instruction Multiple Data)

  • PIII is not a new architecture; it is an improvement over the PII.

  • Katmai is a volcanic mountain in the Alaskan Aleutian range.

  • There is a PII 450 MHz, there is also a PIII 450 MHz.

  • PIII has serial numbers.