Motherboard Documentation Question

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Motherboard Documentation Question

Postby Eng_Boody » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:06 pm

Hi people,
I Hope you are all fine,

I'd like to ask what type of documentation should I read to know the Logical Function of each Chip on the Mother Board
I know That these Information Differs from Board to another and from vendor to another , but what document contain
these information ....for Example what is the functionality of north bridge and south bridge ??

I am a computer engineer .. i took concepts of Microprocessor and Digital Circuits But Can't know the architecture of
a certain board .. does that governed by some industry standard? what kind of documentation can help me find those
information and where can I get it ??

thanks
Eng_Boody
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Re: Motherboard Documentation Question

Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:57 am

Computers of many years ago had discrete components to do one or two functions. Later designs integrated functions into one or two major chipsets, mainly the "northbridge" and "southbridge". Systems today incorporate some 'bridge' functions into the CPU die for more efficient and faster performance. But most functions are still dedicated to those two integrated chipsets.
With most of today's CPU designs, the memory controller is part of the CPU die. Instead of one major core doing all the work, several cores share the data processing; one may even do the video rendering.
As to the circuit design of a motherboard, that is proprietary information of the manufacturer.
Almost any chipset, large or small, has a logo and part number on it. That can be researched as to function and importance.
One book that may be of interest is "PC Repair for Dummies". Written in simple language, but in-depth so that even an advanced tech could be enlightened by it.
The links may describe an older type of video. Originally, that was CGA, or computer-graphics adapter. Maximum 4 colors.
Later video types were EGA, or enhanced graphics adapter. That was followed by VGA, or video graphics adapter. The adapter slot evolved from an 8-bit ISA slot to a 16-bit ISA slot, to an enhanced EISA or VESA 32-bit slot. Then AGP or accelerated graphics adapter. Now there is PCI-E for the video preference.
In the realm of hard drives, the earliest type were MFM, or modified frequency modulation. Controlled by a stepper motor, the heads could be directed to a specific track or cylinder. Later models used the VR or variable reluctance process, to magnetically direct the heads to specific tracks or cylinders. The latest hard drive design is SSD, or solid-state design, which is devoid of any moving parts. The data storage is effected through a static-charge type of data retention, rather than aligning magnetic particles on mechanical disk drives.
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/n/northbri.htm
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/soutbrid.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northbrid ... mputing%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southbrid ... mputing%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive
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Re: Motherboard Documentation Question

Postby Twisty » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:02 pm

How about this one
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-chipsets/

Its old and basic and does not cover everything but it does covers the fundamentals.

Alternatively Intel and AMD have large stashes of information on their websites functional diagrams, technical specs, pinouts, application notes etc: it is technical info but nothing a computer engineer wouldn't understand.

This is a big subject area, if you are more specific about what information you need (i.e. why you want to know the function of each chip) then maybe we could give you a better steer.
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Re: Motherboard Documentation Question

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:19 am

Another critical part of computer operation is the IRQ/DMA assignment of each feature and function.
That is the interrupt request and dynamic memory address for each. This is so there are no conflicts or unwanted interaction with features and functions. Some IRQ assignments can accept up to three devices or functions, others only one. And with a few IRQ assignments, can be 'cascaded' (redirected) to other IRQ needs. There are 16 base or default IRQ assignments, including "0". An interrupt of 16 or higher can be noted, but is a reassignment to a non-primary address.
(With computing, "0" or zero is a physical and virtual state. Often referred to as a 'null' state.)
http://www.pchell.com/hardware/irqs.shtml
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Re: Motherboard Documentation Question

Postby Dimanoteirs » Wed May 25, 2016 12:13 am

Twisty wrote:How about this one
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-chipsets/

Its old and basic and does not cover everything but it does covers the fundamentals.

Alternatively Intel and AMD have large stashes of information on their websites functional diagrams, technical specs, pinouts, application notes etc: it is technical info but nothing a computer engineer wouldn't understand.

This is a big subject area, if you are more specific about what information you need (i.e. why you want to know the function of each chip) then maybe we could give you a better steer.


Hi, just like to say thanks for this link. I was looking for a specific info but after looking through I managed to find what I was looking for. Now I have an idea where to look for next so thanks again for this.
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