In any type of computer, motherboard is the main component, which holds many vital parts of the system and provides connections to other peripherals. It acts as a communication highway. Each part of the computer system communicates to each other through the motherboard. The objective of the motherboard is provide a communication channel to all other peripherals and parts of the computer system.
Brief History Of Motherboard
In the earlier times when computer was first invented, the device used to be built in a frame or a case with parts connected through a backplane. The backplane comprised a set of slots interconnected through wires. After the arrival of printed circuit boards, the central processing unit, read only memory, random access memory, peripherals were mounted on the PCBs. As time passed by in the 1970s and 1980s, more and more numbers of components started getting housed on the motherboard due to economical reasons. In the 1990s, the motherboards became capable of performing video,audio,networking and graphics functions.
Overview Of Motherboard
Generally a computer motherboard has microprocessor, main memory and other vital components, mounted on it. Other parts like video and sound controllers, external storage and peripheral devices are connected to motherboards through plug-in cards. In the latest motherboards, all these components are mounted directly.
One of the most important component of motherboard is chipset. It controls the data flow through the data bus of the motherboard. Channelizing the data to the correct component is the primary objective of the chipset.
The motherboard contains connectors for all components. Expansion slots for PCI,ISA,AGP,DIMM and external connections for serial and parallel ports,USB ports,sound card,keyboard and mouse are mounted on it.
Keyboard & Mouse Connectors
All computers have keyboard ports connected to the motherboard. Two most commonly used connector types are DIN and AT. Nowadays mini DIN PS/2types of connectors are replacing ST types of connectors. PS/2 style sockets could be used with AT types by using a converter. USB connectors are also found in some PCs.
Parallel ports are used by printers. On parallel port, multiple wires are used for carrying data signals. A 25 pin female DB connector is used in parallel port. Motherboards directly support parallel ports through direct connection or dongle.
Central Processing Unit
The component is also known as CPU. It controls all operations that are performed inside a computer. CPUs are basically large scale integrated circuits in rectangular small packages with multiple connecting pins. CPU consists of mainly two components,namely Arithmetic Logical Unit(ALU) and Control Unit(CU). ALU performs arithmetic and logical operations and CU fetches instructions from memory and execute them.
Universal Serial Bus
Universal Serial Bus or USB is an industry standard connection for PC. The speed of USB 3.0, the latest standard of USB, is 5 Gbits/second.
Basic Input Output System- Read Only Memory(BIOS ROM)
The BIOS ROM chip, which is a permanent memory,contains the software program which performs the basic operations when the computer is switched on. When the computer is powered up, the microprocessor searches for basic diagnostic information in BIOS ROM., such as, how much memory is available, whether all peripherals are working properly, if an external drive is connected,etc. When diagnostic information is found to be OK, then only the computer starts its operation.
Random Access Memory(RAM)
RAM is a temporary memory. It is used to store data when computer is powered up. Once the computer is switched off, this memory id erased.
Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory(EEPROM)
EEPROM is erasable programmable read only memory. It is possible to read from and write to this type of memory. Once the computer is switched off, data stored in EEPROM is retained.
Generally two types of slots are available on motherboard, namely AGP slots and PCI slots. AGP slots are used for graphics cards, while devices like modems, network cards and sound cards use PCI slots.
This connector is used for connecting hard disks, CD and DVD.
The computer’s floppy drive is connected through this connector.
Since motherboard contains so many components, any defective component could make the computer nonfunctional. Many online network support providers are rendering round the clock support for motherboards. In case the user faces any problem related to motherboard, immediately the help of PC support providers should be sought to mitigate the problem.