Articles :: Chips ::

Billy Newsom · 01-01-1997 · Category: Tech-planations

CPUs, ROM BIOS, and Chipsets


  • Acer Laboratories, Inc. is the chipset manufacturing arm of Acer Group. Their chipsets go by the "Aladdin" name. The Alladin V is the first chipset to sport a 100 MHz memory bus.
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) makes 486 and P5 CPU's. Their chips are the 5x86, the K5 (which they no longer make), and the K6. AMD purchased NexGen, and you'll need to contact them for support of NexGen products.
  • American Megatrends, Inc. makes AMIBIOS.
  • Award Software Intl. Inc. is the maker of Award BIOS. Award starts over 70 million computers every day.
  • Chip Directory is a massive listing of chips.
  • Chips and Technologies, Inc. (C&T) makes chipsets and other semiconductor products. Word on the street is that Intel will soon purchase C&T, pending FTC approval.
  • Corsair Microsystems makes SDRAM DIMM's and other high-end memory products. They are the ones to see for memory.
  • Cyrix Corp. makes CPU's mostly. Someone tell me when I can have a SMP Cyrix system, and maybe I'll change my mind about Cyrix. Their products include the 5x86 and 6x86 (which they no longer make), the MediaGX, the 6x86MX, and the M II.
  • Dallas Semiconductor makes RTC, IC's, and discrete chips.
  • Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) makes a lot of things besides the Alpha. But when you're a primary competitor for names like Yahoo!, Intel, Sun, HP, and IBM, you've probably made more than a few friends along the way. And what else runs at 667 MHz?
  • Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. makes memory and IC's.
  • Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc. (FMI) makes IC's and CPU's.
  • Hyundai Electronics America Corp. makes memory and other IC's.
  • Intel PCIsets and AGPsets. They make the Triton, Natoma, and Orion chipsets, among others. Intel has also been known to make a CPU or two. They may be out of stock on their i4004, but that can't be helped. Intel did market the first & calculators. Sure, the Pentium II might be an overkill for that Casio you used at school, but then it's a bit larger than it is, too.
  • International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) makes a few P5 CPU's. Okay, they OEM them, which is like licensing the ideas of another company and pretending they're yours. Actually, they slap a Big Blue sticker over Cyrix chips. All right, not really & on the same assembly line in the same plant by the same process. If you have a Cyrix or IBM chip and you don't know the correct voltage, try this page.
  • Integrated Device Technology, Inc. makes memory and CPU's. Their C6 microprocessor is supposed to perform similar to an Intel Pentium MMX at the same clock speed, however they were dead last in releasing such a product.
  • Integrated Technology Express, Inc. (ITE) designs IC's for PCs, consumer electronics, and multimedia products. Products include Super I/O, LPC I/O, PCI-to-ISA Bridge controllers, audio and video related controllers, and high-speed communications codecs/transceivers.
  • LSI Logic makes ASIC's and core logic.
  • Micro Firmware Inc. carries Phoenix and Quadtel BIOS.
  • Microid Research, Inc. makes MR BIOS®.
  • Crucial Technology is a division of Micron. Micron is the largest memory manufacturer in the U.S., and they recently bought three TI fabs &
  • Motorola, Inc. makes CPU's, but not for any Intel-style motherboards. Their 680x0 family is CISC-based and was used in all Macs from 1984 until about 1994. The RISC PowerPC has now completely replaced 680x0 systems. Motorola also makes a lot of controller chips and RAM.
  • Oki Semiconductor makes controller chips, IC's, and memory products.
  • OPTi makes chipsets for 486, P5, and P6 motherboards.
  • Philips Semiconductors makes IC's.
  • Phoenix Technologies Ltd. makes Phoenix BIOS.
  • PLX Technology Inc. makes chipsets for PPC and i960.
  • Samsung Semiconductor makes many IC's and discrete chips.
  • Silicon Graphics makes MIPS CPU's, and Cray supercomputers, plus the CPU in the Nintendo 64.
  • SiS or Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. makes chipsets. See also their Taiwan site.
  • SMC or Standard Microsystems Corp. makes controller chips and chipsets.
  • Sun Microsystems makes SPARC stations, some of the most popular UNIX boxes, plus their SunOS and Solaris operating systems are the best in the business. For x86ers, they are just another software company.
  • Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) makes 486 CPU's and controller chips. They just recently exited the memory industry to continue their dominance in DSP's.
  • Unicore Software, Inc. has BIOS's from all four major BIOS makers including Phoenix, Award, MR BIOS®, and AMI. They also have some awesome diagnostic equipment for computer technicians and tinkerers.
  • United Microelectronics Corp. makes UMC chipsets.
  • Utron Technology, Inc. makes chipsets.
  • V3 or V Cubed Semiconductor makes chipsets, mostly for 29000, i960, 68000, and PPC systems.
  • VIA Technology, Inc. makes VIA chipsets. They have a U.S. webite, too.
  • VLSI Technology, Inc. makes the chipset affectionately known as VLSI.
  • Wim Bervoet's BIOS Page has plenty of BIOS information. You can also figure out who manufactured your motherboard.
  • Winbond makes chipsets, mostly for I/O and peripherals.
  • Zilog is your site if RISC is not your style or you're dying for a Z-80. They make CPU's. For history buffs, the Z-80 used to be the prime competitor for the Intel 8008, 8080, and 8085 family of chips.


  1. CPUs, ROM BIOS, and Chipsets
  2. Chipset FAQ
  3. Chipset Features