What is Chipset?

Chipset is a set of integrated circuits designed based on the architecture of a processor designed in some cases as an integral part of this architecture and allowing such processors to run on the motherboard.

What is Chipset?

What is Chipset on Motherboard?

They act as a communication bridge with other components of the card such as memory, expansion cards, USB ports, mouse, keyboard.

Modern motherboards typically contain two ICs called North and South and are typically the largest ICs after the microprocessor.

Chipset determines most of the features of a motherboard and its reference is usually related to the chipset.

Unlike the microcontroller, the processor does not have more functionality without support: its importance has fallen into the background with its marketing strategies.


From the beginning of the production of the First Central Processing Unit, it was originally thought that the first microprocessor of history was a series of integrated supports, Intel 4004 had a similar physical appearance, all of which were a series of integrated 4001, 4002 and 4003 and formed the basis of any computer system.

While other platforms used a wide variety of general-purpose chip combinations, employees, including CPUs in the Commodore 64 and 8-bit Atari Family, were special designs for the platform that were not found in other electronic equipment for what is called chipsets.

This term was generalized on next-generation home computers, Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were the most powerful equipment of the 1990s, and both had lots of auxiliary chips. Memory management was responsible for controlling mass storage, which frees up sound, graphics, or CPU for other tasks.

In Amiga, first of all, it was differentiated with the Chipset used in each of the generations.

They had Jay Miner as both the 8-bit Atari and Amiga chips designers, so some consider it to be the pioneer of modern architecture used today.

Apple Computer starts using chips designed by the company or explicitly assigned to others in the Apple Macintosh series, but the term Chipset is never used to indicate the chipset used in every new Mac version, until the arrival of G4 teams.

Meanwhile, IBM chose to use general-purpose chips, and only its graphics subsystem was slightly independent of the CPU.

There is no significant change until the release of IBM System/2, and this term is reserved for chipsets of a single purpose dedicated expansion card, such as an audio or SCSI subsystem.

But the need to save card space and reduce costs first brings the integration of all environmental control chips and the arrival of the PCI bus and the ATX specifications of the first chipsets we know now.

How It Works, What Does It Do?

Chipset makes it possible for the motherboard to function as the system axis, supports various components, and allows them to communicate with each other using various buses.

It is one of the few items that have a direct connection with the processor, it manages most of the information that enters and exits the main bus of the processor, video system, and usually RAM memory.

On PC computers, it is an open architectural scheme that provides modularity: The Chipset must have standard interfaces for other devices.

This allows you to choose between various standard devices, for example on expansion buses, some motherboards may have a PCI-Express bus and support different card types with different bus widths (1x, 8x, 16x).

In the case of portable or branded equipment, Chipset can be custom designed and will offer some device interface, although it does not support a wide variety of technologies.

The integrated terminology has changed since its creation in the early 90s, but there is still equivalence that makes some explanations;


NorthBridge, MCH (memory controller hub), GMCH (Graphics MCH) is used as a link bridge between microprocessors and memory.

The microprocessor controls RAM, AGP graphics port, or PCI-Express graphics connections and communication with the southbridge. At first, it was under the control of this in the PCI, but this functionality was moved to the southbridge.


SouthBridge, ICH (Input Controller Hub), IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) disk controller, USB ports, FireWire, SATA, RAID, PCI slots, AMR slot, CNR, infrared ports, floppy drive, Local Area Network (LAN), It is responsible for the PCI-Express 1x and peripherals that we can imagine to be integrated into the motherboard.

Currently, the main chip manufacturers are AMD, ATI Technologies, Intel, NVIDIA, Silicon Integrated Systems, and VIA Technologies.

Also in electronics, the term chip is used to refer to the integrated circuit specifically designed for electronic equipment, or the group consisting of them, which makes it impossible to use for any purpose other than those planned by the manufacturers.

These integrated circuits contain all the components inside the device, require several additional components on the printed circuit, are difficult or impossible to integrate, such as capacitors, quartz crystals, inductors, or RAM memories covering a large surface of the chip, and have a high production failure rate.

Flash memories where firmware is stored are also often not integrated.

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