A motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in computers that holds many of the crucial components of the system,while providing connectors
for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, or, on Apple computers, the logic board.
History of Motherboards
Before generation of Microprocessors i.e. in 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation computers, the computer was usually built in a card-cage case or mainframe with components connected by a backplane consisting of a set of slots themselves connected with wires; in very old designs the wires were discrete connections between card connector pins. But printed circuit boards soon became the standard practice in the late 1970s. The Central Processing Unit, memory and peripherals were housed on individual printed circuit boards which plugged into the backplane. (A backplane is a circuit board that connects several connectors in parallel to each other, so that each pin of each connector is linked to the same relative pin of all the other connectors, forming a computer bus.) During the late 1980s and 1990s, it was found that increasing the number of peripheral functions on the PCB was very economical. Hence, single Integrated Circuits (ICs), capable of supporting low-speed peripherals like serial ports, mouse, keyboards, etc., were included on the motherboards. By the late 1990s, motherboards began to have full range of audio, video, storage and networking functions on them. Higher end systems for 3D gaming and graphic cards were also included later.
Micronics, Mylex, AMI, DTK, Orchid Technology, Elitegroup, etc. were few companies that were early pioneers in the field of motherboard manufacturing but, companies like Apple and IBM soon took over.
Today, motherboards typically boast a wide variety of built-in features, and they directly affect a computer's capabilities and potential for upgrades.
Today Intel and Asus are the two leading companies in the field of motherboard manufacturing.
typical desktop computer has its microprocessor, main memory, and other essential components connected to the motherboard. Other components such as external storage, controllers for video display and sound, and peripheral devices may be attached to the motherboard as plug-in cards or via cables, although in modern computers it is increasingly common to integrate some of these peripherals into the motherboard itself. Few things that a motherboard nowadays include are:
• sockets (or slots) in which one or more microprocessors may be installed. • slots into which the system's main memory is to be installed (typically in the form of DIMM modules containing DRAM chips). • a chipset which forms an interface between the CPU's front-side bus, main memory, and peripheral buses. • non-volatile memory chips (usually Flash ROM in modern motherboards) containing the system's firmware or BIOS. • a clock generator which produces the system clock signal to synchronize the various components. • slots for expansion cards (these interface to the system via the buses supported by the chipset). • power connectors, which receive electrical power from the computer power supply and distribute it to the CPU, chipset, main memory, and expansion cards. • Additionally, nearly all motherboards include logic and connectors to support commonly used input devices, such as PS/2 connectors for a mouse and keyboard. Occasionally video interface hardware is also integrated into the motherboard. Additional peripherals such as disk controllers and serial ports are provided as expansion cards. • Given the high thermal design power of high-speed computer CPUs and components, modern motherboards nearly always include heat sinks and mounting points for fans to dissipate excess...
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