PC30 Ch4_Motherboards Glossary

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  1. AGP
    Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) A 32-bit wide bus standard developed specifically for video cards that includes AGP 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, and 8x standards. AGP has been replaced by the PCI Express standards.
  2. bus
    The paths, or lines, on the motherboard on which data, instructions, and electrical power move from component to component.
  3. chipset
    A group of chips on the motherboard that controls the timing and flow of data and instructions to and from the CPU.
  4. CMOS
    (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) The technology used to manufacture microchips. CMOS chips require less electricity, hold data longer after the electricity is turned off, and produce less heat than earlier technologies. The configuration or setup chip is a CMOS chip.
  5. CMOS battery
    The battery on the motherboard used to power the CMOS chip that holds BIOS setup data so that the data is retained when the computer is unplugged.
  6. CMOS RAM
    Memory contained on the CMOS configuration chip.
  7. data bus
    Lines of the bus, a system of pathway used for communication on the motherboard, used for data.
  8. data path size
    The number of lines on a bus that can hold data, for example, 8, 16, 32, and 64 lines, which can accommodate 8, 16, 32, and 64 bits at a time.
  9. device driver
    Small programs stored on the hard drive and installed in Windows that tell Windows how to communicate with a specific hardware device such as a printer, network, port on the motherboard, or scanner.
  10. flashing BIOS
    The process of upgrading or refreshing the programming stored on a firmware chip.
  11. Front Side Bus (FSB)
    See system bus.
  12. GHz
    gigahertz (GHz) One thousand MHz, or one billion cycles per second.
  13. Hz
    hertz (Hz) Unit of measurement for frequency, calculated in terms of vibrations, or cycles per second. For example, for 16-bit stereo sound, a frequency of 44,000Hz is used. See also megahertz.
  14. I/O shield
    A plate installed on the rear of a computer case that provides holes for I/O ports coming off the motherboard.
  15. ISO image
    A file format that has an .iso file extension and holds an image of all the data, including the file system that is stored on an optical disc.
  16. jumper
    Two wires that stick up side by side on the motherboard or other device and are used to hold configuration information. The jumper is considered closed if a cover is over the wires, and open if the cover is missing.
  17. LGA
    land grid array (LGA) A feature of a CPU socket whereby pads, called lands, are used to make contact in uniform rows over the socket. Compare to pin grid array (PGA).
  18. MHz
    megahertz (MHz) One million Hz, or one million cycles per second. See hertz (Hz).
  19. North Bridge
    That portion of the chipset hub that connects faster I/O buses (for example, the video bus) to the system bus. Compare to South Bridge.
  20. on-board ports
    Ports that are directly on the motherboard, such as a built-in keyboard port or on-board network port.
  21. PCIe
    PCI Express (PCIe) The latest evolution of PCI, which is not backward-compatible with earlier PCI slots and cards. PCIe slots come in several sizes, including PCIe x1, PCIe x4, PCIe x8, and PCIe x16.
  22. PGA
    pin grid array (PGA) A socket that has holes aligned in uniform rows around the socket to receive the pins on the bottom of the processor.
  23. protocol
    A set of rules and standards that two entities use for communication.
  24. riser card
    A card that plugs into a motherboard and allows for expansion cards to be mounted parallel to the motherboard. Expansion cards are plugged into slots on the riser card.
  25. South Bridge
    That portion of the chipset hub that connects slower I/O buses (for example, a PCI bus) to the system bus. Compare to North Bridge.
  26. SPGA
    staggered pin grid array (SPGA) A feature of a CPU socket whereby the pins are staggered over the socket in order to squeeze more pins into a small space.
  27. system bus
    The bus between the CPU and memory on the motherboard. The bus frequency in documentation is called the system speed, such as 400 MHz. Also called the memory bus, front-side bus, local bus, or host bus.
  28. system clock
    A line on a bus that is dedicated to timing the activities of components connected to it. The system clock provides a continuous pulse that other devices use to time themselves.
  29. traces
    A wire on a circuit board that connects two components or devices.
  30. UEFI
    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) An interface between firmware on the motherboard and the operating system and improves on legacy BIOS processes for booting, handing over the boot to the OS, and loading device drivers and applications before the OS loads.
  31. VM
    virtual machine (VM) One or more logical machines created within one physical machine.
  32. virtualization
    When one physical machine hosts multiple activities that are normally done on multiple machines.
  33. wait state
    A clock tick in which nothing happens, used to ensure that the microprocessor isn’t getting ahead of slower components. A 0-wait state is preferable to a 1-wait state. Too many wait states can slow down a system.
  34. ZIF socket
    zero insertion force (ZIF) socket A socket that uses a small lever to apply even force when you install the processor into the socket.
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PC30 Ch4_Motherboards Glossary
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PC30 Ch4_Motherboards Glossary
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