What is the Chipset?

Most likely is that we have heard the “Chipset” word countless times, and most users know that it is an essential component that is hosted on the motherboard of our PC. However, it may be that we ignore how this little device soldered to the motherboard works or what its real importance in the hardware of the PC. In this article we will disclose it.

For those who still not know the meaning of the word “chipset“, basically is a group of integrated circuits that are welded to the board of the motherboard.

What is the chipset

What is your function?

The chipset is responsible for filing the correct connection between the motherboard and various essential components of the PC, such as the processor, video cards, RAM and ROM memories, among others.

For this reason, the existence of the chipset is essential for that our computer to work, since it is responsible for sending orders between the motherboard and processor, so that both components can achieve work with harmony.

In short, it is this small element that allows the motherboard is the backbone of the entire system of hardware of our PC, and allows constant communication between various components, through the use of buses.

In the other hand, the chipset has a direct and permanent communication with the processor, and is responsible for managing the information going in and out through the main processor bus. Even their role extends to the RAM and ROM memory and video cards.

What is the chipset

In order to allow the motherboard to interface with the main components of the PC through the chipset, this element is usually made based on standard interfaces that can provide support to various devices of different brands.

PC Chips

In the early use of the word chipset, when old computers Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit is used, the motherboard available a single chip that had been designed exclusively for that platform, so it did not provide adequate support for components.

Over the years, and after the great advances in the field of computers, motherboards began to include many chips, each with a different function, and providing adequate support for all types of components.

This multitude of chips not only handle interconnect the motherboard with the processor and memory, but also communicate various elements of the PC, to perform control mass storage drives, sound, graphics, plus any other boards.

What is the chipset

Incorporating all these chips into the motherboard has resulted in a great benefit to the operation of the equipment, as when dealing with certain control tasks and process management allows the motherboard is free to perform other tasks .

Currently, there are two types of chipset: the Northbridge and Southbridge called that not only are characterized by being located on opposite ends of the motherboard, but it also ordered to perform different tasks.

The Northbridge

The Northbridge chip is the responsible for interfacing the microprocessor and RAM, controlling all access tasks between these elements and the PCI and AGP ports. At the same time, the Northbridge maintains a permanent communication with the Southbridge.


The Southbridge chip is the responsible for communicating the processor with all peripherals connected to the computer.

What is the chipset

Also, its function also resides in controlling the various devices that are associated with the motherboard such as USB ports, floppy drive, optical drives, hard drives, and so on.

Despite the vital importance of having the chipset on the motherboard in the correct operation of the PC, the fact is that for years has been one of the least important elements, when in fact the chipset usually determine the characteristics of many models motherboards sold in the market today.

What is the chipset

Today, the most important chipset manufacturers are Intel, NVIDIA, Silicon Integrated Systems, AMD, ATI Technologies and VIA Technologies.

If you want to know about the different elements that make up the hardware of a computer, please click on this link which will take you directly to all this information.

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