Computer Motherboard and Its constituent components

There are primarily two types of motherboards, AT motherboard, and ATX motherboard. AT motherboards are older, and not commonly used now a days. The AT and ATX motherboards differ in the form factor. Full AT is 12" wide x 13.8" deep, and Baby AT is 8.57" wide x 13.04" deep. Full-ATX is 12" wide x 9.6" deep and Mini-ATX is 11.2" wide x 8.2" deep. Other major differences include power supply connector, and keyboard connector. AT has 5-pin large keyboard connector, where as ATX has 6-pin mini connector. Similarly, AT has single row two connectors +/-5V, and +/-12V, whereas ATX motherboard has double row single connector providing +/-5V, +/-12V, and +3.3V.
A typical ATX PC motherboard with constituent components is given below:

The important constituent components of an ATX Motherboard are given below:

1. Mouse & keyboard 2. USB 3. Parallel port 4. CPU Chip 5. RAM slots 6. Floppy controller 7. IDE controller 8. PCI slot 9. ISA slot 10. CMOS Battery 11. AGP slot 12. CPU slot 13. Power supply plug in
1. Mouse & keyboard: Keyboard Connectors are two types basically. All PCs have a Key board port connected directly to the motherboard. The oldest, but still quite common type, is a special DIN, and most PCs until recently retained this style connector. The AT-style keyboard connector is quickly disappearing, being replaced by the smaller mini DIN PS/2-style keyboard connector.

You can use an AT-style keyboard with a PS/2-style socket (or the other way around) by using a converter. Although the AT connector is unique in PCs, the PS/2-style mini-DIN is also used in more modern PCs for the mouse. Fortunately , most PCs that use the mini-DIN for both the keyboard and mouse clearly mark each mini-DIN socket as to its correct use. Some keyboards have a USB connection, but these are fairly rare compared to the PS/2 connection keyboards. 2. USB (Universal serial bus): USB is the General-purpose connection for PC. You can find USB versions of many different devices, such as mice, keyboards, scanners, cameras, and even printers. a USB connector's distinctive rectangular shape makes it easily recognizable.

as opposed to the serial port. Floppy controller: The floppy drive connects to the computer via a 34-pin ribbon cable. The PCI bus is used to connect I/O devices (such as NIC or RAID controllers) to the main logic of the computer. SCSI drives show up in high end PCs such as network servers or graphical workstations. 11. 5. 3. 6. ISA slot: (Industry Standard Architecture) It is the standard architecture of the Expansion bus. These batteries mount on the motherboard in one of three ways: the obsolete external battery. RAM slots: Random-Access Memory (RAM) stores programs and data currently being used by the CPU. 7. Parallel ports are directly supported by the motherboard through a direct connection or through a dangle. 8. You can insert or remove them without restarting your system. The cooling device (such as a cooling fan) is removable. although some CPU manufactures sell the CPU with a fan permanently attached. which uses only one wire. The most current package is called a 168-pin DIMM (Dual Inline Memory module).USB has a number of features that makes it particularly popular on PCs. Majority of the PCs use EIDE drives. A floppy controller is one that is used to control the floppy drive. The EIDE drive connects to the hard drive via a 2-inch-wide. First. you will almost certainly notice a single connector that looks like a PCI slot. RAM has been packaged in many different ways. Parallel port: Most printers use a special connector called a parallel port. RAM is measured in units called bytes. IDE controller: Industry standards define two common types of hard drives: EIDE and SCSI. PCI bus has replaced the ISA bus. PCI slot: Intel introduced the Peripheral component interconnect bus protocol. the most common onboard battery. which in turn connects to the motherboard. CPUs come in Variety of shapes and sizes. CPU Chip : The central processing unit. CMOS Battery: To provide CMOS with the power when the computer is turned off all motherboards comes with a battery. 40-pin ribbon cable. 10. AGP slot: If you have a modern motherboard. Motherboard may contain some slots to connect ISA compatible cards. IDE controller is responsible for controlling the hard drive. Parallel ports use a 25-pin female DB connector. and built-in battery. but is slightly shorter and . USB devices are hot swappable. Modern CPUs generate a lot of heat and thus require a cooling fan or heat sink. also called the microprocessor performs all the calculations that take place inside a pc. 9. 4. Parallel port carry data on more than one wire. which in turn connects to the motherboard.

the power supply takes standard 110-V AC power and converts into +/-12-Volt. as its name implies. and memory. Special notches in the slot make it impossible to install them incorrectly. EPROM or flash memory. A computer motherboard inevitably contains a BIOS chip in the form of an onboard PROM. BIOS is also known as PC firmware because it is an integral part of the motherboard. The power supply connector has 20-pins. it is probably not correct. 13. FDD. You also probably have a video card inserted into this slot. It contains basic instructions to interact with various hardware modules such as Motherboard controllers or that of interface cards. BIOS is the software that is run by a computer when first powered on. CPU slot: To install the CPU. It searches for other BIOS's on the plug-in boards. So remember if it does not go easily. When the computer is powered on. and the connector can go in only one direction. it performs diagnostic tests on the computer hardware devices such as hard drive. just slide it straight down into the slot.3-Volt DC power. +/-5-Volt. Power supply plug in: The Power supply. BIOS Firmware BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. . and takes care of them.usually brown. and 3. It then loads the operating system and passes control to OS. Be sure to plug in the CPU fan's power. provides the necessary electrical power to make the pc operate. The BIOS accepts requests from the drivers as well as the applications as shown in the figure below. This is an Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) slot 12.

and hard disk controllers. Though it is a square-type PLCC package. floppy drives. DRAMs store data in the form of capacitive charges. and running the Firmware update program. The motherboard BIOS is normally used to access basic hardware components such as the keyboard. Since any capacitor tends to be leaky.faster at rewriting the chip A typical BIOS chip used on motherboards is shown in the figure below. Firmware generally available in different forms: 1. Adapter cards such as SCSI. BIOS chips come in different forms. the RAM gets refreshed continually by the controller. EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM). DRAM has been introduced in the earlier stages. and video boards may include their own BIOS software. RAID. and RAM versions available today are much bigger and faster than the earlier simple DRAMs. 2. you can update a BIOS firmware using EEPROM using "boot to floppy". It is important that the information is fetched by the CPU quickly to further processing. 3.: BIOS chip BIOS chip after insertion into a socket. . EPROM (Erasable Programmable ROM). you may need to get a new chip from the manufacturer. a DRAM needs to be refreshed on a continual basis. Figure 2 shows the BIOS after insertion into the socket. Memory: PC memory stores data and programs currently being executed by the computer. There are several memory types available. for updating a BIOS firm using EPROM. Flash ROM .Firmware on adapter cards: A computer can contain several BIOS firmware chips. Dynamic RAM (DRAM): In dynamic RAM. Important among there include the following:        Dynamic RAM (DRAM) Synchronous RAM (SRAM) Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) Video RAM (VRAM) Windows RAM (WRAM) EDO RAM RAM stands for Ramdom Access Memory.

Memory bus clock is much faster than the motherboard clock. Inc. DDR memory transfers data at 266MHz. This is quite useful in animation and other speed sensitive video applications. enabling the SRAM to be in synchronization with the motherboard cloak. Synchronizes to the memory bus clock. Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM): SDRAM works in sync with the motherboard. Hence faster data transfer between the CPU and the memory module occurs. Rambus DRAM (RDRAM): RDRAM technology was developed originally by Rambus. and is similar to VRAM in functionality. VRAMs are more expensive than DRAMs. but for the difference that DDR reads data on both the rising and falling edges of the clock. RDRAM chips are synchronized to the processor's memory bus. VRAM and WRAM are slowly becoming obsolete. Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM): DDR SDRAM is similar to SDRAM. and a few other passive components. and you don't handle individual memory chips. Rambus memory is integrated onto Rambus Inline Memory Modules (RIMMs). and hence works quite fast.Synchronous RAM (SRAM): SRAM contains a clock built onto the memory module. SDRAM reads only on the rising edge of a signal. but provide better graphic display. Normally. Video RAM (VRAM): VRAM is primarily used on video cards. L-2 memory caches are usually made of SRAM and exhibit very fast read and write operations. Memory Modules: Memory modules are printed circuit cards made up of memory chips. CPU and memory module are synchronized to the motherboard. It is dual ported. SDRAMs have speeds of the order of 133MHz. However. SDRAM doesn't require frequent recharge like DRAM. with the faster memory access schemes like DDR. Comparison Chart: Memory Type DRAM SRAM RDRAM Synchronization CPU synchronized to the motherboard. DRAM is neither synchronized to the motherboard nor CPU. The following are the prominently used memory modules (also called memory cards):       Dual In-line Package (DIP) Single In-line Memory Modules (SIMM) Dual In-line Memory Modules (DIMM) Rambus In-line Memory Modules (RIMM) DDR DDR II . instead of a data rate of 133MHz. For example. This technique allows the DDR module to achieve speeds twice that of SDRAM. memory modules are the those that get installed on the motherboard. in the sense that while one device write to VRAM. another device can simultaneously do read operation. Windows RAM (WRAM) is another type of memory used for graphics. etc. 800MHz.

On a SIMM. There are two types of SIMM modules: 30-pin SIMM modules. Since SIMM provides only 32-bit bus. Due to size. whereas you need two SIMMs (paired) when working with 64-bit microprocessors like Pentium II and above. buy additional chips and insert into any existing DIP sockets.Dual In-line Package (DIP): Initially. If you need to enhance the memory. 3. One big advantage of DIMM is that only one module can be inserted into the motherboard. and chip are shown in the figure above. you need to use 2-SIMMs paired together with any modern 64-bit processor. there is only one chip per DIP package. the edge connector pins on either side of a SIMM are shorted. A typical SIMM is shown in the figure below. memory chips were integrated into SIMM (Single In-line Memory Modules) that overcome several of the said problems. This arrangement resulted in several DIP sockets being present on the motherboard. Individual memory chips were inserted into the sockets. and 72-pin SIMM modules. representing only one signal pin. Typically. Typical SIMM package: Memory Size:64MB Memory Speed: 60nS Pins: 72 Dual In-Line Memory Modules (DIMM): DIMMs are very similar to SIMMs. and give raise to errors It is cumbersome to insert individual chips Used to take more power Because of the above problems. and AT systems came with DIP sockets. these chips used to take lot of space. 4. The chips used to dislodge from respective sockets. a 72-pin SIMM has 32-bit wide memory bus. As can be seen. The major difference is that a DIMM has two different signal pins on each side of the module as shown in the figure. There are several disadvantages because of this method: 1. . 2. PC XT. whereas a DIMM has 64-bit wide memory bus. Single In-line Memory Modules (SIMM): SIMM modules have several memory chips soldered in-line on its own circuit board. DIP chip DIP socket A typical DIP socket.

We discuss various CPUs starting from Pentium IV. is a major component of a micro computer. A typical DDR module (DIMM) is shown above. The DIMM package using DDR is twice as fast as the one using SDRAM. Rambus In-Line Memory Module (RIMM): Rambus inline memory modules (RIMMs) use Rambus Dyamic RAM (RDRAM) chips.Typical DIMM (using DDRAM): Memory size: 256MB Pins:168 pin package SIMMs typically have 72 pins. and Socket Types: Micro processor. also called CPU (Central Processing Unit).    Socket 478 Socket 423 Socket 370 . A RIMM package using RDRAM Double Data Rate: DDR modules are also called DIMMs (Dual-In-Line-Memory Module). whereas DIMM have 168 pins. and onwards. Memory Size: 2X512MB Memory Speed: 400MHzPC3200 Memory Type: Dual Channel DDR Pins: 184 Micro Processors.

Socket type: Socket 478 (mPGA478B) Front Bus Frequencies: 400 MHz .4 GHz) This socket has currently been replaced with socket 775.7 .200 MHz QDR) Socket size: 1.5 x 3.2 GHz) Celeron D (to 3.4 .38" x 1.5 cm) Number of contacts: 478 Compatible package types: 478-pin micro FC-PGA 478-pin micro FC-PGA2 Compatible processors: Processors Intel Pentium 4 (1.800 MHz (100 MHz .4 GHz) Intel Celeron (1..2.3. 3.      Socket 8 Socket 7 Socket A Slot A Slot 2 Slot 1 Socket 478: Socket 478 is a PGA socket used by Intel Pentium 4 microprocessor family (not all P IV family processors support Socket 478).3. .2 GHz) Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (3.38" (3.

2000 MHz) Socket 370: Socket 370 (PGA370) is a PGA socket compatible with Intel Celeron and Pentium III processors in Pin Grid Array (PGA) package. Number of Contacts: 423 Compatible package type: Organic Land Grid Array (OLGA) Front Bus Speed: 100 MHz FSB Compatible Processors: Intel Pentium 4 (1300 MHz . 370-pin Flip-Chip Pin Grid Array (FC-PGA) 370-pin Flip-Chip Pin Grid Array (FC-PGA2) Number of contacts: 370 Front Bus Frequencies: 66. 900–1400 MHz) Intel Pentium III (FC-PGA. 100 and 133 MHz Supported Processors include the following: Intel Celeron (PPGA.Socket 423: The socket was used for low-end Pentium IV processors below 2000MHz frequencies. 533–1100 MHz) Intel Celeron (FC-PGA2. 500–1133 MHz) Intel Pentium III Tualatin (FC-PGA2) Celeron Tualatin (FC-PGA2) VIA C3 (FC-PGA) . Socket 370 Processor package Salient Features: Compatible package types: 370-pin Plastic Pin Grid Array (PPGA). It became obsolete with the advent of Socket 478. 300–533 MHz) Intel Celeron (FC-PGA.

550 MHz) Cyrix 6x86.200 MHz processors.233 MHz) .300 MHz) AMD K6-2 (200 MHz . 6x86L and 6x86MX (90 MHz .266 MHz) Cyrix MII (233 MHz . Pentium II OverDrive 300~333 Socket 7: Socket 7 was introduced by Intel for Pentium 133 . AMD K6 (166 MHz .Socket 8: Socket 8 was used for a very limited number of processor types. It is also used in Pentium MMX processor family.570 MHz) AMD K6-III (333 MHz .200 MHz).433 MHz) Intel Pentium (non-MMX) (75 MHz . Number of Contacts: 387 Front Bus Speed : 66-75 MHz Supported Processors include the following: Pentium Pro 150~200. The socket is being no more used by newer processors.200 MHz) Intel Pentium MMX (166 MHz . Socket 7 Compatible Processor Salient Features: Compatible package types: 296-pin staggered Plastic Pin Grid Array (PPGA) 296-pin staggered Ceramic Pin Grid Array (CPGA or SPGA) 296-pin Flip-Chip staggered Ceramic Pin Grid Array 321-pin ceramic Ping Grid Array (CPGA) Number of contacts: 321 Front Bus Frequencies: 66 .83 Mhz System Clock Supported Processors include the following: AMD K5 (75 MHz .

3300+) AMD Duron (600 MHz . Intel's Xeon processor uses Slot 2. This connector is compatible with Pentium II family of processors. It has 242 contacts.Socket A (Socket 462): Socket A (also called Socket 462) is a PGA socket compatible with AMD K7 family of processors. Slot A: Slot A is used by AMD's Athlon family of processors. The Slot 2 cartridge may house as many as four processors and an L2 cache. Pentium III was the last microprocessor family that used the Slot 1.1800 MHz) AMD Sempron (2000+ .1400 MHz) AMD Athlon XP (1500+ .3000+) Compatible package types: 462-pin ceramic Pin Grid Array (PGA) package.3300+) AMD Athlon MP (1000 MHz . . 133 MHz. 166 MHz and 200 MHz Number of contact pins: 462 pin holes Compatible Processors include the following: AMD Athlon (650 MHz . Socket A Processor for Socket A Bus Frequencies: 100 MHz. But Slot A is electrically different from that of Slot 1. physically similar to that of Intel's Slot 1. Pentium IV family of processors do not use Slot 1. Slot 1: Slot 1 is a Slot-type connector. Slot 2: Slot 2 is a 330 contact version of Slot 1. and some of low-end Celeron processors. 462-pin organic PGA.

233-450 MHz) Intel Pentium III (SECC2. 450-1133 MHz) Compatible package types: Single Edge Processor Package (SEPP) Single Edge Connector Cartridge (SECC) Single Edge Connector Cartridge 2 (SECC 2) Storage Devices. Flash ROM Computer Hard Disk Drive   Working of a Hard Disk Drive Hard Disk Drive Interfaces Working of a HDD: The hard disk drive (Abbreviated as HDD or HD) holds the main storage media of a computer. A HDD consists of several platters (or hard disks) along with head actuator. Hard Disk Drive 2.Number of Contacts: 242 Processors types supported include the following: Intel Celeron (SECC. A schematic diagram of a HDD is shown in the figure below: . Commonly used storage devices include the following: 1. DVD/DVDRW 4. 233-466 MHz) Processors Intel Pentium II (SECC. CD/CDRW 3. head arm secured in a chassis. and Interfaces A computer normally contains several storage options.

enabling very fast read and write operations. A typical hard disk drive is shown in the figure. The disks are mounted on a rotary drive. and the sector number. The disks are sealed to prevent any dust or moisture entering the drive. Basically. The data is accessed by specifying the disk number. Then each track is divided into Sectors.Schematic of a Hard Disk Drive Photo of a HDD that has two concentric disks The individual hard disks (platters) are used to store the information. The disks rotate at a very high speed ( several thousands of revolutions per minute). the surface of each disk is divided into concentric Tracks. The storage is achieved by depositing a thin magnetic film on either side of each disk. track number. The magnetically sensitive head reads/writes information when the disks rotate. .

4. Different versions of SCSI include the following: 1.. whereas SCSI can support 8 or more hard drives. Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI): SCSI is commonly used with server grade machines. and supports faster access to the hard disks. 6. are the commonly used with most Pentium computers. There are different versions of SCSI available today. 3. 7. IDE supports only two drives (one master drive and one slave drive) per channel. 2.Hard Disk Drive Interfaces: There are several standards connected with the Hard Disk Drives. SCSI-1 SCSI-2 SCSI-3 Ultra-2 Ultra-3 Ultra-320 Ultra-640 iSCSI Serial SCSI The various standards primarily differ in the following: . 8. also known as ATA is used with IBM compatible hard drives. 5. Figure: A 40-pin IDE cable connector Enhanced IDE (EIDE) is the enhanced version of IDE technology. 9. IDE and its successor. These include the following:     IDE/EIDE SCSI Serial ATA Notebook IDE/PATA IDE/EIDE Hard Disk Drives: IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics). Enhanced IDE (EIDE).

54KB/sec. IDE/EIDE is usually associated with PATA. The DVD specification supports access rates of 600KBps to 1. some DVD drives may not be able to read CDRs.705KB/sec. Serial ATA (SATA): Serial ATA (SATA) is a next generation technology based on ATA. ATA was used to mean parallel transfer of bits between the motherboard and the hard drive. Video Display Devices The display devices used commonly can be classified as below: . Normally. 2x for a DVD drive is 2. traditional ATA was named as PATA (Parallel ATA). DVD-R is a once-recordable form of DVD. For example. It looks very similar to that of a CD drive. but contains larger storage space and can hold video. Following the convention. double-sided DVD-ROM disk can have capacity over 17GB. However. The original speed rating for DVDs is different from that of a CD-R. Earlier. Many DVD drives can read data from a CD-R. But. You need to ensure compatibility with CD-R when procuring a DVD drive. 1x is 1352. single-sided DVD has a capacity of 4. A single-layer. 4x is 5. A DVD drive is shown in the figure above.640KB/sec. Essentially. For a DVD. and 16x would be 21. with the advent of SATA. Maximum throughput (MB/sec)   Maximum cable length. DVD looks very similar to CD-R.3MBps.7GB where as a CD-ROM has a capacity of around 650MB. 8x is 10. where as SCSI3 can go up to 40MB/sec. and you will not be able to read a DVD using a CDR. DVD and DVD RW DVD stands for Digital Video Disk (Also known as Digital Versatile Disk). and Maximum number of devices that could be connected. CD-R drives are not compatible with DVD. DVD-RW or DVD-R/RW can be written multiple times. A double-layer. and/or computer data.410KB/sec. audio.820KB/sec. and for transfer of data to and from a hard disk. SCSI-I has a throughput of 5MB/sec.

gradually down the screen. through it is getting gradually replaced with LCD and Plasma displays. This type of scanning (line-by-line) is known as raster scan. . all the displays are interlaced to reduce flicker. There are two types of cathode ray displays. one line at a time. In a CRT. One is non-interlaced. A computer monitor using CRT display. Normally. and the other is interlaced. A synchronization (sync) signal brings the beam back to the top row of the display. Figure: CRT cross sectional diagram showing important components of a CRT.   Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) display Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) display Plasma Displays Cathode Ray Tube (CRT): CRT display is the most commonly used form of visual displays. an electron beam sweeps the display screen horizontally.

Usually. the screen is refreshed between 60-100 times per second. the scanning is done continuously from top to bottom. The grid shown in the figure controls the speed with with the electrons hit the screen. green. Graphics Cards: The graphics card resides in the CPU box. Given below are the commonly used screen resolutions: Display Type Number of pixels Video Graphics Array (VGA) 640 * 480 pixels Super Video Graphics 800 * 600 pixels Array(SVGA) eXtended Graphics Array 1024 * 768 pixels (XGA) Super eXtended graphics 1280 * 1024 pixels Array (SXGA) Screen resolution is always stated as the horizontal number of pixels by the vertical number of pixels. alternate rows are scanned. each 800 pixels wide. and vertical deflection plates. for non-interlaced display. making the screen brighter. The horizontal and vertical deflection takes place by applying appropriate voltages to the horizontal. the electrons are decelerated and the screen will not glow. and drives the video display. A typical graphics card is shown below: . A screen displaying 800 x 600 pixels has 600 rows. For non-interlaced display. each of which represent red. One basic unit of measurement is "pixel". The microscopic control of electron beam flow. If a positive voltage is applied to the screen grid. whereas a color display monitor will have three electron guns.As shown in the figure. If a negative voltage is applied to the grip. and blue. produces images on the screen. A pixel is the smallest area in a graphics display that can be manipulated. A black and white monitor contains only one electron gun. because of which the electrons are accelerated and hit the screen.

PCMCIA standards were developed for small. Usually. 1. credit card-sized devices. you need a higher end graphic adapter card.0 mm 10. Types of PC Cards: There are 3 types of PC Cards. Type II PC Cards are typically used for I/O devices such as modems.6 mm 54. PCM CIA Interface Cards (PC Cards) PCMCIA stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. TV/Video connector. Type III PC Cards are used for devices that consist of thicker components. 2. the same are being extensively used in other devices also. Though PCMCIA cards (PC Cards) were originally developed for use with Notebook computers. and a VGA connector.5 mm Depends on the functionality of the Back-end I/O Connector PC Card .0 mm 3. a video adapter will be sufficient. and SRAM cards. Type-I PC Cards are typically used for memory devices such as RAM. called PC Cards. and LAN cards. The card has an on-board graphics processor with cooling fan. Type-III 1. 3. such as rotating mass storage devices. Flash. Important characteristics of PC Cards: Property Physical Connector Length Width Thickness Type-I Type-II Type-III Value Interface 68 pins 85. Type-II 3. Type-I 2.3 mm 5.The graphics card shown includes DVI connector. For normal desktop usage. for graphic intensive applications.

11g specify the technologies for wireless LANs. ME. It enables a mobile user to connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless connection. 802.11b/g Wireless PC Card A wireless LAN card is shown in the figure above. 4. XP .PCMCIA Card (PC Card) slots: Just like PC Cards. Typical specifications for the same are given below: Connection Type: Wireless Connector: PCMCIA Supported Wireless Standards: 802.11b. This in turn improves performance.3V as well as 5V operation. Power Management: The Standard provides a means to interface to APM (Advanced Power Management). and eliminates the need for large amounts of system RAM.11a. PC Card Uses: Some of the frequently used PC Card types include the following:       LAN card Wireless LAN card Modem card ATA flash disk card IEEE 1394/Firewire USB A wireless LAN serves the same functionality of a traditional LAN card. but operates without being physically wired to a network device. 2000. 802. Linksys 802. 3. eXecute In Place (XIP): XIP allows operating system and application software to run directly from the PC Card. 98. IEEE 802.11g Supported Operating Systems: Windows. and 802.11b. CardBus: CardBus allows PC Cards and hosts to use 32-bit bus mastering. 6. 7. Plug and Play: PC Cards can be inserted or removed while the system is powered-on. 2. DMA: The Standard allows cards to utilize Direct Memory Access technology directly in the hardware when matched with a corresponding host system. Low Voltage Operation: The Standard enables 3. PCMCIA slots also come in three sizes: Type I slot: Holds up to one Type I card Type II slot: Holds up to one Type II card or two Type I cards Type III slot: Holds up to one Type III card or a Type I and Type II card. Advantages of PC Cards: Several advantages offered by PC cards are as given below: 1.

If LPT2 is not LPT2 or Sound Card available. but avoid using it for any other cards. and COM 3. and COM 4. do not use this IRQ for other requirements. do not use this IRQ for anything else. Numerical Processing Used for math co-processor. If you are using PS/2 Mouse port on system. it is used for sound card. Not available to any other addKeyboard Controller in cards. This IRQ is assigned to a secondary printer port LPT2.IRQs. This IRQ is assigned to the parallel port LPT1. and I/O Addresses: IRQ ( Short for Interrupt ReQuest): An IRQ allows a device to request certain system resources on priority. The system allocated IRQs may some times be manually changed. Avoid COM2 setting this IRQ to other devices. or others Not Assigned Left open for use with any other device This IRQ is used for the PS/2 style mouse port normally available on PS/2 Mouse Port many motherboards. This IRQ uses IRQ 2 to talk to the CPU. Avoid COM1 setting this IRQ to other devices. Floppy Diskette This IRQ is assigned to the Floppy Diskette Controller. This IRQ is reserved for the internal real-time clock. Not Assigned Can be used for network card. This IRQ is assigned to the serial ports COM 2. it may lead to serious IRQ conflicts resulting in a hung operating system. This line is NOT Real Time Clock available to other add-on cards. the system allowcates the different non-competing IRQ numbers to different devices. Since most Controller systems use FDC. and not available for other devices. Normally used for network Substitutes for IRQ 2 cards. Controller Memory Mapped Input/Output Addresses: . This IRQ is assigned to the keyboard. However. Unit (NPU) Primary Hard Disk This IRQ is assigned to the primary hard drive interface Controller Secondary Hard Disk This IRQ is assigned to the secondary hard drive interface. It can also be made LPT1 available to other add-in cards. This IRQ is assigned to the serial ports COM 1. It may lead to conflicts at a future time. The table below gives normally assigned IRQ numbers in Pentium compatible systems: :IRQ Usage 0 System Timer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Comments This IRQ is used within the system board for system timing. Tied to IRQs 8-15 This IRQ was assigned to older EGA video cards. when you least anticipate it. Normally.

and the system may hang or not function normally. IDE controller) than I/O address conflict will arise. . If you have installed any device recently. and the rest of the system. Used for the SCSI host adapters Could be used for a SCSI host adapter Could be used for a Network card. and IO address conflicts is that the PC is unable to boot or giving error codes during boot process. Assigned to LPT2 or LPT3 Optional address for sound cards and network cards Default for many network cards Assigned to COM 4 and used with IRQ 3 Assigned to COM 2 and used with IRQ 3 nother Network Interface Card choice Used for a SCSI host adapter or MIDI device. This is assigned to the first parallel printer port (LPT1) in monochrome systems. If an address space allocated to one device (say. Normally used with IRQ 7. You can use this for a Network card when not assigned to any SCSI or MIDI device. provided there are no conflicks. Assigned to COM 3 and used with IRQ 4 Assigned to COM 1 and used with IRQ 4 A rule of thumb for IEQ. LPT) is assigned to another device (say. remove or disable it and see if the PC boots properly. These address spaces are permanently allocated to the system devices.Input/output addresses ( I/O addresses for short) are resources used by almpst every device in the computer. This is assigned to the first parallel printer port (LPT 1) in color systems. The I/O addresses represent the location in memory for a given device to exchange information between itself. Given below is the list of commonly used I/O address spaces allocated to various system devices: I/O Address Common Device using the Address Space 060h 064h 130 140 170h 1F0h 220 240 260 270 278h 280 300 2E8h 2F8h 300h 320h 330h 340h 360h 378h 3BCh 3E8h 3F8h and and and Used by keyboard controller Used by SCSI host adapters Secondary IDE Interface Primary IDE Interface Default address for Sound cards Optional address for sound cards and network cards Optional address for sound cards and network cards.

Most commonly used serial ports are given below: 1. DB-25 Male Connector . Serial port hardware usually consists of a UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter). DB9: DB9 adheres to the RS-232c interface standard. It has 25 pins as shown in the figure. DB-25 is normally used in older computers. The function of each pin is described below. The connector is "D" shaped. Outline Diagram of DB-9 DB-9 Female Connector Pin description: Pin # Pin 1 Pin 2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Pin 5 Pin 6 Pin 7 Pin 8 Pin 9 Pin Description Data Carrier Detect DCD Received Data RxData Transmitted Data TxData Data Terminal Ready DTR Signal Ground Gnd Data Set Ready DSR Request To Send RTS Clear To Send CTS Ring Indicator RI 2. It has 9 pins as shown in the figure. DB25: DB25 adheres to the RS-232C interface standard. and easy to recognize. and easy to recognize.Cables and Connectors Serial Ports: The serial port is an Asynchronous port which transmits data one bit of data at a time. and not much used in modern day computers. The connector is "D" shaped.

RJ-45 is commonly used for Ethernet network interface card (NIC). RJ-45: An RJ-45 connector has 4 pairs of wires as shown in the schematic diagram below.3. commonly used with a modem. It should not be confused with bigger RJ-45 cable and connector. . Schematic of RJ-11 Connector An RJ-11 Cable with Connector Pin # A1 A2 A3 A4 Function Ground Rx (Data Input) Tx (Data Output) Vc (Power) 4. Note that an RJ11 is a 4-wire connector. RJ-11: RJ-11 is a 4-wire connector. where as RJ-45 is an 8-wire connector. RJ-45 connector schematic RJ-45 connector crimped to a cable.

One is Straight-through cable.Pin 25 Function Strobe Data Bit 0 Data Bit 1 Data Bit 2 Data Bit 3 Data Bit 4 Data Bit 5 Data Bit 6 Data Bit 7 Acknowledge Busy Paper End Select Auto Feed Error Initialize Printer Select Input Ground (return for pins 0-7) The length of Parallel Printer cable usually limited to a maximum of 15 feet Other Type of Parallel Ports: . Straight-through cables are used for connecting a network device to a work station.RJ-45 connector is commonly used for Ethernet Networking ports. DB-25 DB-25 connector is most commonly used in conjunction with a parallel printer. Hubs. Pin # Pin 1 Pin 2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Pin 5 Pin 6 Pin 7 Pin 8 Pin 9 Pin 10 Pin 11 Pin 12 Pin 13 Pin 14 Pin 15 Pin 16 Pin 17 Pin 18 . There are basically two types of cables. Cross-over cables are used for connecting a hub to a switch or a hub to another hub. Switches. It has an 8 bit data bus as shown in the figure below. Devices that normally use RJ-45 ports include NICs. and the other is Cross-over cable. and Routers. Parallel Ports: 1.

 Hot plug and unplug: It is possible to insert an USB device and and unplug without affecting the functioning of a computer. USB USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Both are shown in the figure below. The standard is most suitable for transferring high volumes of information including video. Given below are some of the important features of IEEE 1394 standard:   Based on open licensing system. 2. and its ready to use. FireWire/IEEE1394 FireWire/IEEE1394 port provides data rates up to 400 Mb/sec. The port is automatically detected by the system. The difference between the two is in the physical layout of pins in the connector. .  127 physical devices: A USB can support up to 127 devices.Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP): The Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP) operates close to ISA bus speed and can achieve transfer rates up to 1 to 2MB/sec of data. Digital transmission with data rates of 100. and USB B. The most important features of USB bus include the following:  Plug'n'Play: USB is a truly plug-n-play port. This is much more than what is normally required. Pin # Pin 1 Pin 2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Function +5V DC DataData+ Ground USB"A" plugs are used towards the host system and USB "B" plugs are used towards the USB device. or 400 mega bits per second (Mb/sec). and voice data. Connectors and Cables -ii 1. You dont need to power-off the computer to remove or insert a USB device.  Low cost cables and connectors USB connectros can be broadly divided into USB A. is an additional enhanced Parallel port. Enhanced Capabilities Port (ECP): The Enhanced Capabilities Port (ECP). 200.

TPA+ PC Power Supplies PC power supplies deliver required DC power to the computer electronic sub-systems including Motherboard. Peer-to-peer functionality Compatibility. lower speed USB devices can be connected with higher speed devices. TPATwisted-pair A. TPB+ Twisted-pair A. and isochronous data transfer. TPBTwisted-pair B. Usually. TPA+ 6 PIN IEEE1394 (with Power): IEEE1394 6-pin connector schematic. and others. Supports both asynchronous (Based on request-and-acknowledge form of computer communication. differential signals. differential signals. TPBTwisted-pair B. differential signals. differential signals. Hot pluggable: Cables can be connected and disconnected without turning off power to the computer. Mouse. differential signals. 18-28v no load.      Plug and play: Automatically detected by the operating system during start-up or during usage. differential signals. Useful for video and audio). TPATwisted-pair A. CDROM drive. differential signals. differential signals. Keyboard.( Continuous. Pin # 1 2 3 4 5 6 Function Power. TPB+ Twisted-pair A. 4 PIN IEEE1394 (without Power) A IEEE 1394 Connector schematic Pin Pin #1 Pin #2 Pin #3 Pin #4 Function Twisted-pair B. Flexible: You can connect FireWire cables in a daisy-chain or in branching cable configurations. guaranteed data transmission at a pre-determined speed. Hard drive. used typically with dial-up modems). Ground Twisted-pair B. regular CRT .

monitors derive power separately from the mains. 2. 6. 3. Thus. An ATX power supply. additional 4-pins are provided for taking care of +12 V power supply. 5. and a simple ATX power supply with not have the +12V power connector. 4. to enable the delivery of more +12 VDC current to the motherboard. There are mainly two types of power supplies used in computers:  ATX Power Supply  ATX12V Power Supply ATX12V power supplies are intended to be downward compatible with ATX power supplies. PC power supplies work by converting the AC mains power supply to required DC power supplies.3 Volts DC +5 Volts DC -5 Volts DC +5 Volts DC Standby +12 Volts DC -12 Volts DC ATX and ATX12V power supply connectors pin configuration is shown below: . ATX12V will have a +12 V power connector. As the PC components take more and more power. typically found in all Pentium class computers is shown below: The voltages produced by ATX/ATX12V power supplies are: 1. +3.

and an Auxiliary power connector. a power supply may have a CPU power connector. short pin 14 (PS_ON) with any of the ground pins. such as 3. Following are the most commonly used power supply connectors:      4 Pin Berg Connector: Used to connect the PSU to small form factor devices. including hard drives and optical drives. Available in: ATX and ATX12V 20 Pin Molex ATX Power Connector: This is used to power the motherboard in ATX systems.available in: ATX/ATX12V To power up an ATX or ATX12V PSU for testing. Available in: ATX & ATX12V 4 Pin Molex Connector 4 Pin Molex Connector: This is used to power various components.3V.ATX12V Connector (it has 24 pins) ATX Connector (it has 20 pins) In addition to the Motherboard power connector. available in: ATX (integrated into the power connector in ATX12V) 6 Pin AUX Connector 6 Pin AUX Connector: Provides +5V DC. and two connections of +3.available in: ATX (ATX12V have 24 pins) 4 Pin Molex P4 12V Power Connector: Used specifically for Pentium 4 Processor Motherboards.5" floppy drives. .

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