Wyse 909009

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Without a computer bus, data transfer from devices to our computer would not be possible. The bus connects from devices to the CPU computer processor and RAM (memory) sending data in the form of an electrical pulse. Buses come in many sizes, the size needed depends on the "bits" being transferred. Common bus sizes are: 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 64, 80, 96, and 128 bits.

When talking about computer buses there are some terms that explain exactly what the bus does and how it works. Bus speed is figured in MegaHertz (Mhz). This is the speed of the data that is sent through the bus. The capacity of a bus is calculated by multiplying the bus with its speed. However, this is not always exact because there are many factors that can slow it down. The internal bus can be found inside the processor. This type of bus is capable of transferring data, instructions and other necessary info to other internal parts. The external bus is located outside the processor, but inside the computer. It too transfers data between a variety of computer parts. The bus that is used to transfer actual data is called the data bus. An Internal data bus moves data inside the processor, and an external data bus moves data from processor to the memory and visa versa. To make sure data is sent to its proper place there is an address bus. This holds all destination info about the data being sent. If you combine a data bus with an address bus the process is called multiplexing.

Over the years there has been many different buses produced with several different manufactures.
The ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) bus was produced in 1981. This started out as an 8-bit bus with speeds of 4.77 Mhz.

It was later updated to a 16 bit 8.3 MHZ bus in 1984, to go along with IBM's new processor the 80286.

MCA ( Micro Channel Architecture) produced in 1987 was a failed attempt at a computer bus. This 32-bit bus was not capable of being used with the other ISA buses that were on the market already. These were combined with the PS/2 computer, and new Intel 80386 processors, but were not accepted by other manufactures.

A combined effort by AST Research, Compaq, Epson, HP NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE, and Zenith Data Systems produced the EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture). This was their response to the MCA. It was a 32 bit 8.3 MHZ, backward compatible with the ISA, and could automatically set up adaptor card configurations.

With the help of jumper switches the VESA Local bus (Video Electronics Standards Association) was produced in 1992, to go with the Intel 80486 processor. It was a 32 bit bus with 33 MHZ .

The PCI buses introduced in 1993 were very popular due to the availability of Plug-n-Play devices. They were available in two versions the 32 bit 33 Mhz and the 64 bit 66 Mhz . Several sets of data could be transferred with these buses, because they were able to check for transfer errors and had the "burst mode." These options made these buses very fast.

Intel's next step was to create a bus that helped transfers with 3D graphics. The AGP (Accelerated Graphic Port) introduced in 1997, were buses that had the ability to enhance video data performance. This was possible because of their capability to separate regular data from video data while transferring.

USB (Universal Serial Bus) are technologies newest version of the Bus Driver. This was a combined effort by Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intern, Microsoft, NEC, and Northern Telecom. They were released in 1996 along with Intels 430HX Triton II motherboard. These buses transferred data at 12 megabits per second (mbps) and had the capabilities of supporting 127 devices using just one IRQ. These buses are used for connecting cameras, CD-ROM drives, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, MP3 players, and removable media.

Compaq, HP, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, NEC, and Phillips have created another version of the USB, called the USB 2.0. This has bus speeds up to 480 Mpbs and is backward compatible with the old USB.

As time goes on the speed and capabilities of these buses get better and better. What's in the future for bus drivers? Only technology knows.

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