What is a Chipset? Full Definition of Chipset

What is a Chipset?

What is a Chipset in a Computer?

In a computer system, a chipset is a set of electronic components in an integrated circuit that manages the data flow between the processor, memory and peripherals. It is usually found on the motherboard. Chipsets are usually designed to work with a specific family of microprocessors. Because it controls communications between the processor and external devices, the chipset plays a crucial role in determining system performance.

In computing, the term chipset commonly refers to a set of specialized chips on a computer’s motherboard or an expansion card. In personal computers, the first chipset for the IBM PC AT of 1984 was the NEAT chipset developed by Chips and Technologies for the Intel 80286 CPU.

In home computers, game consoles and arcade-game hardware of the 1980s and 1990s, the term chipset was used for the custom audio and graphics chips. Examples include the Commodore Amiga’s Original Chip Set or SEGA’s System 16 chipset.

Based on[clarification needed] Intel Pentium-class microprocessors, the term chipset often refers to a specific pair of chips on the motherboard: the northbridge and the southbridge. The northbridge links the CPU to very high-speed devices, especially RAM and graphics controllers, and the southbridge connects to lower-speed peripheral buses (such as PCI or ISA). In many modern chipsets, the southbridge contains some on-chip integrated peripherals, such as Ethernet, USB, and audio devices.

Motherboards and their chipsets often come from different manufacturers. As of 2015, manufacturers of chipsets for x86 motherboards include AMD, Broadcom, Intel, NVIDIA, SiS and VIA Technologies. Apple computers and Unix workstations have traditionally used custom-designed chipsets. Some server manufacturers also develop custom chipsets for their products.

In the 1980s Chips and Technologies pioneered the manufacturing of chipsets for PC-compatible computers. Computer systems produced since then often share commonly used chipsets, even across widely disparate computing specialties. For example, the NCR 53C9x, a low-cost chipset implementing a SCSI interface to storage devices, could be found in Unix machines such as the MIPS Magnum, embedded devices, and personal computers.

what is a chipset

What is a Chipset in a Mobile Phone?

In a mobile phone, Mobile phones run on so-called embedded chipsets, which are designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions, often with real-time computing constraints. They are embedded as part of the complete device including hardware and mechanical parts.

The ever popular smartphones are equipped with more advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming.

Thus their CPU (Central Processing Unit) performance is vital for the daily user experience and people tend to use the clock rate of the main CPU that’s in the heart of the chipset to compare the performance of competing end products.

As we already pointed out, the clock rate of a processor is only useful for providing performance comparisons between computer chips in the same processor family and generation.

Also, as mobile gaming is increasingly gaining popularity, users have become more aware of the various types of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) chips that come as part of the mobile chipsets and sometimes even consider their performance when making buying decisions.

source : wikipedia

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